PR1MA to launch home-buyer assistance programme early next year

PR1MA Corporation Malaysia (PR1MA) will introduce a homebuyer assistance programme early next year to help those who are not eligible for a housing loan from banks but were chosen to own a 1Malaysia People's Housing house.

Chief Executive Officer Datuk Abdul Mutalib Alias said PR1MA is working with a partner to develop the special financing schemes, and is currently ironing out the final details.

Speaking to Bernama in an interview here, Abdul Mutalib said some of the successful balloted buyers failed to secure bank financing.

"We have seen cases where people cried after balloting because they could not get financing. We're thinking there must be another mechanism where we can provide assistance, hence our buyer assistance programme," he said.

PR1MA says while it hopes a higher percentage of buyers would be able to get bank financing, it saw a need to design such a scheme to act as a buffer. "This kind of programme is covered in our PR1MA Act 2012.

PR1MA is allowed to come out with various buyer assistance programmes to assist the targeted buyers who can't get financing. So far we are only relying on bank financing," Abdul Mutalib said.

There will be two schemes 'Rent & Pay Plan' and 'Rent & Stay Plan' and once buyers adopt either one, they have the right to buy the house at the original price.

"Progressively, when their income increases, they should be able to get bank financing and convert the scheme into normal traditional financing at the original price," he added.

Giving an example, Abdul Mutalib said for a property priced at RM200,000, the buyer first has to come up with about RM20,000 in down payment. "On top of that, to qualify for a loan, they need to have a household income of RM3,865 a month. In case of a RM400,000 property, it's RM7,700, and so on.

Monthly payment, on the other hand, ranges from RM966 to RM1,933," he said.

PR1MA, recognising some people fell short of these requirements, decided to address their cash flow problem, he said.

"We don't want to see a situation where buyers get disappointed, where after a successful ballot they could not get a home. We want the public to not lose hope," he explained.

The schemes are also open to applicants seeking a second house.

"We always maintain that people who already own a house are eligible to apply for PR1MA. The rationale is simple. Some people have already bought a house in an unfavourable location because that was what they could afford at that time.

"For us not allowing them not to participate is unfair, but of course weightage is given more to people who don't own a home," Ahmad Mutalib said.

He added that a lot of people have the misperception that PR1MA is only for the low-income group, and urged the interested public, especially younger people, to register and apply.

PR1MA is an affordable housing scheme in key urban areas for middle-income groups earning between RM2,500 to RM7,000 monthly. - (The Star)

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