October 11, 2011
From http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsindex.php?id=619151(accessed on 13 October, 2011)
By Noor Bakhtiar Ahmad
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 (Bernama) — As for Yee Poo Yoon, 40, the date 26 Sept, 2011 is definitely going to be a memorable one for the rest of his life.
It was the day he received the keys to his new house after two years of persevering to revive the abandoned Taman Prima Hijau housing estate in Rawang near here.
The houses finally have been completed and issued with the Certificate of Fitness for Occupation (CFO).
“I took on the role as the buyers’ representative in May 2009, and initially faced numerous hurdles in getting the stalled project going.
“Even some of the fellow buyers had no faith in my endeavour to revive the project,” he said when met at the handing over of the keys recently.
Yee and the fellow buyers’ success in reviving the stalled housing development is a testimony that there is still hope for buyers in such predicament.
The buyers and the Abandoned Project Revival Division under the National Housing Department literally hold the key in reinstating stalled housing development.
The predicament underwent by Yee is shared by about 33,000 house buyers in the country whose dream of owning their own home were dashed when their housing projects got stalled.
The revival division’s director, M.Jana Santhiran, assured the public that the division is thoroughly committed in reviving the abandoned housing development projects.
Though it could be a time consuming process especially due to the hurdles that the department has to face, the projects could be reinstated.
“Among the difficulties involved are getting the project details including the building plans,” he told Bernama.
Jana Sathiran further pointed out the missing record on the buyers further complicated the revival process.
“Often the existing records are incomplete and this makes it difficult for the department to identify the buyer and verify the transaction that had taken place,” he said.
Jana Sathiran pointed out while the buyers extend their cooperation to the department, there were cases where landowners refused or were not willing to cooperate.
“Thus the buyers who now are the ‘creditors’ have to take their case to the courts to settle the problem with the landowner,” he said.
On the status of ongoing housing developments, Jana Sathiran said the ministry has been monitoring online the progress of about 3,000 housing projects all over the country.
“It is mandatory for the developers to submit their progress status every three months,” he said.
Other than this, the banks too monitor progress of the housing development that they have financed.
LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
So far, the Ministry of Housing and Local Government has identified 167 abandoned housing projects all over the nation, involving 50,605 houses and 32,848 buyers.
Up to 31 Aug, 2011, the ministry with the cooperation of all parties had revived 82 abandoned housing projects to the benefit of 9,231 buyers. Another 54 projects are being revived and already in various stages of progress.
The remaining 31 projects are under consideration for revival.
Various efforts are being taken by the government to prevent stalled housing developments.
Among others, the Special Taskforce to Facilitate Business (Pemudah) has proposed that the deposit for the developer’s licence be increased and developers adopt the build and sell concept.
Pemudah also wants the House Buyers’ Tribunal given more power in tackling problems between house buyers and developers.
At the developers’ side, the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (REHDA) has requested for amendments in the Housing Development Act (HDA) to help developers ensure projects are completed.
REDHA too proposed a higher deposit for the developer’s licence subject to the developer’s affordability compared with the RM200,000 at present as a safety net.
— BERNAMA (emphasis added).