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Vacant flats may be sold and not left to rot


INSTEAD of being left to rot, vacant units at Public Housing Project (PPR) flats in Selangor may be available for sale in three months.

State Housing, Building Management and Squatters Committee chairman Iskandar Abdul Samad said the state had discussed with the Housing and Local Government Ministry on the matter and the latter had agreed in principle.

The flats were built by the ministry on state-owned land.

“Offering the vacant units to interested buyers will be able to alleviate the many problems created like vandalism and burglary and will prevent the vacant units from becoming a haunt for drug addicts and petty thieves,” he said during a site visit to PPR Lembah Subang 1 in Petaling Jaya recently.

PPR Lembah Subang 1 consists of 3,004 units, 517 of which are vacant. Levels 11 to 17 are deserted and the overall state of the flats is deplorable.

Other PPRs located in Serendah, Kampung Baru Hicom and Kota Damansara face the same problem.

“Discussions are in progress to work out the mechanism on how to sell the units, which will likely be priced at around RM42,000. We hope to make the units available within three months,” he said.

Iskandar said the federal government had allocated RM200mil for the refurbishment of PPR flats in the country and he hoped Selangor would soon receive the funds.

He said the state had also planned to make use of the empty space for community programmes such as old folks’ home while non-governmental organisations were encouraged to enliven the area.

“These flats are strategically located but relatively inaccessible by public transport.

“We suggest having an LRT station in the area while the local council can also consider providing feeder bus services,” he said, adding that the area’s population could easily exceed 10,000.

“Putting the units up for sale can instill a sense of belonging in the residents, which will eventually improve the residents’ living condition,” he added.

Meanwhile, the perennial question of when the 1,580 units of PPR Lembah Subang 2 would be open for occupation should be answered in a month.

The flats have been left vacant for at least two years but had not received Certificate of Fitness for Occupation (CFs) from the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) due to concerns over safety and stability as the site was a former landfill.

“The Selangor Economic Action Council (MTES) will discuss in detail the assessment report by Universiti Malaya which suggested several measures to be carried out to ensure that the place is safe for habitation,” Iskandar said.

According to him, the report highlighted the possible health risks of gas emissions from the ground and among the measures recommended was the replacement of a layer of soil.

“We know affordable houses are in high demand but we cannot compromise on safety.

“If the MTES feels it is not suitable for habitation, we will not allow residents to move in and will decide on the future of the site,” he added.

He also directed the MBPJ to conduct checks on the condition of the nearby terrace houses that were showing signs of cracking and sinking.

It was reported earlier in StarMetro that the terrace houses were all built on compressed garbage with only 15cm of soil in between.


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