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RM350mil affordable Sabah housing planned this year

Published on: Thursday, January 09, 2014

Penampang: Three new developments with a gross development value of RM350 million are being planned by Syarikat Perumahan Nasional Berhad (SPNB) for Sabah this year, Chairman Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff said, Wednesday.

In all, SPNB plans to build 2,812 affordable homes from its land banks in the State. They are Apartment Tuaran Impian involving 832 units in Tuaran, Wirawan Kimanis (1,036 units) in Papar and Vista Leila Idaman involving 944 units in Sandakan.

However, out of the three developments SPNB plans to expand its land bank in Kimanis to bank on the spillover from the Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal (SOGT). It also plans to build a mixed development in Kimanis.

"At present our land bank in Kimanis is 25 acres, which we acquired many years ago.

"We need to have 150 acres to start up the new township development there. The land is located about 3 to 4km from the SOGT," he said, after handing house keys to residents of SPNB's newly completed project, Vista Minintod, here.

He said the Kimanis project would only commence once local demand picks up, while the Vista Leila Idaman in Sandakan will be a State Government-SPNB venture.

SPNB to date has undertaken seven out of eight affordable home projects in Sabah and now has two on-going projects in Tawau and Lahad Datu.

For Tawau in Taman Apas Permai, the second phase would be completed by the second quarter of 2014 and expects to hand over the house keys to buyers by mid-2014.

The Tawau project was mired in controversy last year for not being completed on time, apart from Vista Minintod, here.

As for Vista Minintod, Dr Abdul Latif clarified the delay in handing over the units was because the developer could not obtain the Certificate of Fitness (CF) on time. He named several factors, which he claimed involved "bureaucracy from the basic amenities providers" that caused the delay way over its scheduled deadline of 2010.

He suggested that the Government set up a one-stop centre for all the basic amenities providers for developers like SPNB to liaise with.

Dr Abdul Latif has branded Vista Minintod as the most challenging in the history of all 35 projects SPNB has nationwide, whereby not only SPNB was forced to compensate the houseowners, it has also seen the changes of three SPNB Chairmen and two Chief Executive Officers.

"Nonetheless, SPNB has sold a RM130,000-quality apartment for RM90,000 to the houseowners.

"It cost us about RM120,000 to build one apartment," he said.

State Local Government and Housing Assistant Minister Datuk Zakaria Idris complimented SPNB's effort in providing affordable homes to the younger middle and low income generation who are faced with various challenges especially the rising costs of items.

It is understood that several units have already been offered for sale in the muda.com property portal for RM150,000.