Affordable housing is a major topic that never fails to raise tonnes of questions and concerns among the rakyat, especially in Klang Valley.

For many young Malaysians, the road to planning a future tends to hit a bump when it comes to owning their first home.

We always talk about how difficult it is to find a suitable home with the most ideal price and location that we end up either renting a tiny room, stay further away from the city or just continue living under our parents’ roof.

But according to a report by The Star, affordable houses that cost between RM200,000 and RM250,000 actually do exist within Klang Valley and you don’t even have to look too far away.

These houses are reportedly available in Kajang, Bukit Jalil, Kepong, Setia Alam, Cheras, Klang and Cyberjaya.

Houses within this price range are mostly located about 30km away from the city centre.
Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) president Datuk Seri Fateh Iskandar Mohd Mansor said that there are thousands of these affordable homes across the country, as reported by The Star.

The sizes of these units are reportedly between 662sq ft and 1,635sq ft for a double-storey house, depending on location. Most of them come with the standard three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

No doubt, about 70 per cent of the affordable housing are apartments, with some projects that have more than 2,000 units.

But the problem is there is not enough awareness about these units and they are also difficult to access.

“We need one authority to provide the big data so people are aware that these properties are available throughout the country,” Fateh Iskandar said, as reported by The Star.

In fact, there are reportedly about ten affordable housing programmes that were initiated by the government alone, including PR1MA, Rumah Selangorku, Federal Territories Housing Scheme (RUMAWIP), Program Perumahan Rakyat (PPR), Perumah Penjewat Awam 1 Malaysia (PPA1M), Rumah Mesra Rakyat 1 Malaysia (RMR1M), Rumah Idaman Rakyat (RIR), MyHome 1 and MyHome 2, Rumah Mesra Rakyat Plus (RMRplus), Rumah Mampu Milik Johor and Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd.

FYI, affordable housing is roughly determined based on the median monthly household income in Malaysia.

According to the Statistics Department, that amount reportedly increased from RM4,585 in 2014 to RM5,228 in 2016.

With that, houses that are considered affordable would cost approximately RM188,000, three times the amount of a household’s median annual income.

So for those of you who are looking to purchase your first home, don’t give up just yet. You might also want to pay attention to the Budget 2018 tabling by the Prime Minister that’s happening tomorrow because affordable housing is reportedly a major issue that will be discussed.