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Affordable homes must also be liveable
Published on: Sunday, March 24, 2024
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Our collective responsibility is to ensure that everyone has access to affordable and decent housing. While the government’s affordable housing initiatives are commendable, we need to do more to improve the living conditions of those who reside in public housing areas.
RECENTLY, while visiting a family member who lives in a public housing project, I found myself profoundly appreciative of the affordable housing programme in our country. Having a roof over our head is a basic necessity, and it’s heartening to know that the government prioritises the people’s access to affordable housing.

However, providing affordable housing is just one aspect in ensuring a dignified life for the people. There are many other factors we must consider to ensure that residents can lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

Walking through the public housing area, I couldn’t help but notice run-down facilities and a worrisome undercurrent of neglect. 

I knew the residents were grateful for their homes, but I couldn’t help feeling that they deserved better. It’s important to understand that our environment heavily influences our well-being.

Living in poor conditions can affect our physical and mental health, leading to a host of issues such as respiratory problems, infections and stress-related disorders.

While we may feel that providing affordable housing is the responsibility of the government, it’s up to us as responsible citizens to ensure that the living conditions are conducive to a healthy and happy life.

We shouldn’t wait for people in high places to take action. Instead, we must take the initiative to use the available resources and create a better living environment for ourselves.

I recently learned about the public grants programme by Think City, a community-focused urban regeneration organisation wholly-owned by Khazanah Nasional Bhd.

Launched in April last year, the grants are part of Think City’s Kita-Untuk-Kita (K2K) programme, which aims to improve the lives of Klang Valley public housing residents in the peninsula.

It offers an excellent opportunity for small social impact organisations to contribute towards improving the condition of public housing areas.

For instance, individuals or organisations can use the grant to develop a rubbish disposal system to ensure cleanliness.

We can also work towards creating green spaces and promoting sustainable living practices to make the environment cleaner and more pleasant, thereby reducing exposure to health risks.

Safety is another crucial aspect that we must address. Collaborating with local authorities and private companies to provide adequate lighting, surveillance cameras and other security measures can significantly boost the residents’ peace of mind and make them feel more secure in their homes.  

This added layer of security will also help to create a sense of community and reduce the crime rate.

Liveability is another essential aspect that must be addressed. We can work towards creating a sense of community by organising social events and activities that bring the residents together.

We can also work towards creating playgrounds, community centres and other amenities that would help to promote social cohesion and reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness among the residents.

Our collective responsibility is to ensure that everyone has access to affordable and decent housing. While the government’s affordable housing initiatives are commendable, we need to do more to improve the living conditions of those who reside in public housing areas.

By coming together and taking action, we can ensure that every individual has the opportunity to live a dignified and fulfilling life regardless of their socioeconomic status.

SK

- The views expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Express.

- If you have something to share, write to us at: [email protected]



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