KOTA BHARU: The Federal government through the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) of the Prime Minister’s Department (JPM) has allocated a total of RM14.9 million for new housing and home repair projects in Kelantan in an effort to eradicate poverty in the state.

Its director-general Datuk Azman Ibrahim said the allocation involved RM9.6 million for building new houses for 120 heads of household (KIR) while another RM5.8 million was for repair assistance for 240 KIR.

“From the allocation, a total of 175 home improvement projects and 75 new house construction for the hardcore poor and needy eKasih participants have been approved in Kelantan.

“Currently, 144 houses have been completed and repaired and the rest will be completed in the near future,” he said after a keys handover ceremony of the Rumah Kasih Ihsan project courtesy of the Kelantan State Development Office here today.

He said the new housing and home repair programme is one of the strategies to eradicate hardcore poverty and improve the quality of life for the people of Kelantan in line with the Malaysia Madani agenda to eradicate poverty in the country.

On May 2, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim gave two months to federal and state government agencies to identify the hardcore poor in Kelantan.

He was reported as saying that currently there are about 1,000 people in Kelantan who belong to the extreme poor group.

Meanwhile, the earliest recipient to receive help in building a new house, Yahya Ismail, 46, said he was very grateful for the aid after more than 20 years of residence at his wife’s grandmother’s house.

He said the house that was completed in mid-April gave him and his family security to enjoy a better life with his four children.

“I didn’t expect my application made at the end of last year to receive immediate action from the government. Thank you for your concern, now we have our own house,” said the ‘otak-otak’ trader.

Earlier, Azman also paid a courtesy visit to four houses in Kampung Chenerai, Alor Pasir in Pasir Mas.