Govt to offer affordable housing for the poor
Esther Samboh. The Jakarta Post, Jakarta - 28/02/2011
The government plans to offer affordable housing for the poor, with units starting from Rp 5 million (US$565) to Rp 25 million per house, top officials have said.
Coordinating Minister for the Economy Hatta Rajasa said the program blueprint would be completed this week to determine the exact price and size of the houses, the time and place of construction, the amount of funds needed and how much the state would subsidize.
“The price of the 36-square-meter house is estimated to be between Rp 20 and Rp 25 million,” he told reporters after a meeting at his office in Jakarta on Friday, adding that the funds to build the houses would come from state firms’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) budgets and the government’s savings accumulated from state budget surpluses in previous years, which has reportedly now reached about Rp 20 trillion.
“We would need to speak with the legislators [to use the savings funds]. So we estimate the project to begin in the second half of this year after securing approval from the legislators,” Hatta added.
State-owned housing firm Perumnas commissioner Maruhum Batubara said that the affordable houses offered to the poor had different categories and sizes.
He said that the price of the “temporary” or “very cheap house” would be between Rp 5 to Rp 10 million, while a “permanent” house would be sold at between Rp 10 and Rp 25 million. The price does not include the land.
“People could buy the Rp 5 to Rp 10 million houses as temporary housing, and when they can afford it they could upgrade to the Rp 10 to Rp 25 million type,” he said.
As of March last year, there were 31 million people living beneath the poverty line, or about 13 percent of the total population. The government aims to decrease the poverty rate to between 8 and 10 percent of the country’s total population of 237 million by 2014.
The houses, sized between 21 and 36 square meters would be built on a 60-square-meter plot and could be renovated, Maruhum said.
Maruhum said about 7.4 million houses for the poor are presently needed, as many people are still living under bridges and in cardboard houses on river banks. “The [affordable housing program] could be the government’s acceleration effort to meet these needs.”
The government had previously implemented several affordable housing programs, such as the Rusunami subsidized apartments, but many of the units were purchased by people who already own homes and were later sold for fast profits.
National Development Planning Minister Armida Alisjahbana said the affordable housing project is part of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s six programs presented last week, which also include affordable public transportation, clean water, cheaper electricity, a program for fisherman and development initiative for people living in the city’s periphery areas.