SETIA ALAM: The Selangor state government is in the midst of discussion with the Bank Negara Malaysia for first-time prospective homeowners to have rent-to-own properties.

Selangor exco on housing and urban living Haniza Mohamed Talha said the meeting will be to discuss to tip up the purchase of ‘Rumah Selangorku’ for first time house buyers, together with the fund for affordable housing offered by Bank Negara.

“We want to give more chances for first time house buyers to buy a comfortable home for themselves,“ she said at a press conference after handing over offer letters and smart rent keys of De Kiara and De Cemara apartments at Setia Alam yesterday.

Bank Negara is opening up RM1 billion in funds for affordable housing, introduced in January this year, to a bigger group of first-time home buyers.

From Sept 1 onwards, the scheme will be opened to buyers with a maximum monthly household income of up to RM4360. Previously, the eligibility was capped at household earnings of less than RM2300 a month.

Buyers can also afford to use the scheme to purchase houses worth up to RM300,000 a unit. This is double the previous limit of RM150,000.

Participating banks under this scheme are Ambank, Bank Simpanan Nasional, CIMB Bank, Maybank and RHB Bank.

The fund will be open for two years from Jan 2 this year.

Meanwhile, at the event, as many as 21 successful applicants receive their offer letters to De Cemara apartments and keys under the Smart Sewa scheme to their De Kiara apartments.

The apartments, which were developed by SP Setia, is part of the state government’s initiative to prepare affordable homes for the B40 and the M40.

Haniza said under the Smart Sewa scheme, the Selangor Housing and Property Board will buy selected apartment units and rent it out to prospective Selangor residents who want to rent a unit.

“The scheme will allow tenants to pay rent rates from RM450 to RM900 a month to rent the units,“ she said.

When the tenants are ready to purchase their first ‘Rumah Selangorku’ homes, 30% of the net rent will be returned to them as incentive to help them prepare their deposit.

To date, the Selangor Housing and Property Board has bought 979 units to be rented under the Smart Sewa scheme.

For forwarding operator Kumaran Subramaniam, 30, he was happy to finally purchase his first home, which is the De Cemara apartment, expected to be complete in 3 years.

“I applied for a ‘Rumah Selangorku’ in April, and I wasn’t sure if I will receive a call from them after applying. But I breathe a sigh of relief when I receive a call from them in August, saying that I got the house,“ he said.

Kumaran, who is single and currently lives in Kapar, said he will wait for the apartment to be built before he decides whether to move in himself or with his parents.

For housewife Nur Fatimah Farihin, 29, being able to rent an apartment at De Kiara apartment in Setia Alam was a relief.

This is because the family had been living in a studio apartment in Bukit Jelutong, where there was only one bedroom and one bathroom, and was paying RM900 a month.

“I’m happy because I’ll be staying in Setia Alam, which is close to where my husband is working, and the apartment is nice, it’s a new area, it has facilities and a school, and we are only paying RM800 a month,“ said the mother of two.

She said she will move into the apartment as soon as the family receives the keys to the apartment.

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