Sheda calls for new mechanism to assist private contractors, developers building homes at capped prices

Augustine Wong

KUCHING, Aug 30: Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) is calling on the Sarawak government to consider a new mechanism to assist private contractors and developers who are facing difficulties in building affordable homes at capped prices.

Sheda president Augustine Wong said the call came after Sarawak Business Federation was reported by an online portal to have express disappointment over Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) 9.0 which did not include the private contractors and developers undertaking affordable housing projects.

Wong said the sudden manifold price increase of construction materials and other input, has placed developers in a tight situation. 

“Hence, the rolling out of BKSS 9.0 is certainly commendable which will facilitate the viability of government contractors to carry on with existing projects and thus minimise the number of ‘sick’ projects in Sarawak.

“To ensure that there is a constant supply of affordable housing in Sarawak, there is a need to look at the capping of selling prices so that they commensurate with existing building costs, as developers are not able to undertake projects at a financial loss.

“Commercial bankers will not be willing to grant bridging finance to any private contractors or developers to undertake loss-making ventures,” he said in a statement today.

Wong further said that although abandoned housing projects by private developers are not many in Sarawak, it is timely for the State government to review the mechanism to assist private developers who cannot increase the prices of affordable houses while doing their level best to complete such houses even under the current challenging circumstances.

“Sheda humbly requests that the Sarawak government have a dialogue with the private sector to consider and include key stakeholders in the Sarawak economy who have been left out of BKSS 9.0.

“This is to minimise the risk of abandoned projects as well as stoppage in supply of affordable housing by the private sector for reasons beyond their control,” he added. — DayakDaily