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BND64 million in housing debt

Azlan Othman

Some 6,098 National Housing Scheme (RPN) owners owe housing dues while 184 owners owe rent amounting to BND64 million.

This was revealed by Minister of Development Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Muhammad Juanda bin Haji Abdul Rashid during the 19th Legislative Council (LegCo) session yesterday when answering LegCo member Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Haji Mohd Yusof’s queries.

The minister said a Debt Recovery Unit was established at the Housing Development Department to look at the cases, adding that the issues are being tackled through a whole-of-government approach.

Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Muhammad Juanda said housing loan owners are given the choices to review the repayment amount; pay through Employees Trust Fund (TAP) after retirement; or transfer ownership to family members capable of paying. Legal actions will only be used as a last resort.

To facilitate payment, the public can use One Common Billing System (OCBS) on top of service counters during office hours.

Minister of Development Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Muhammad Juanda bin Haji Abdul Rashid. PHOTO: INFOFOTO

The minister said a premium, based on the land’s market value, is imposed on leased land with unpaid or expired lease.

The premium for land for agricultural use is 10 per cent and land for housing is 20 per cent, he added.

To ease the burden of landowners, there’s an exemption for premium for those with a house; special use such as housing, agriculture and paddy planting; land not exceeding two acres; with one family member (either husband or wife); and landowner with income not exceeding BND3,000 a month.

Those not eligible for premium exemption can pay within seven years, and land grants with a new lease period will only be issued once all payments are made, said the minister.

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