More housing to be built for the underprivileged this year

Azlan Othman

Minister of Development Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar said three houses for the underprivileged are scheduled to be completed this year with additional 12 houses to  be built in the future.

He added that another 25 will be offered to be constructed this year. The minister said that from 2008 to 2020, at least 100 houses for the underprivileged, poor and destitute were completed.

This was in response to Yang Berhormat Pengiran Haji Ali bin Pengiran Maon yesterday on the ninth day of the 17th Legislative Council session on provision of houses for the less fortunate.

He said that to reduce delay in implementation, the Public Works Department (JKR) has coordinated with relevant agencies to identify technical issues and is consolidating contracts to build two to three houses to recipients residing in the same area.

On involvement of Ministry of Development in the provision of houses for the underprivileged, poor and destitute whereby delay in construction occurred and whether these underprivileged people can be absorbed into the national housing scheme, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi said the Housing Development Department does not play a role in such housing assistance as owners with Temporary Occupation License (LTS) land is financially under the Brunei Islamic Religious Council and Prime Minister’s Office and the projects carried out by the JKR.

On whether the underprivileged, poor and destitute could enrol in the national housing scheme, the minister said such a proposal has been discussed at the ministry’s level.

The minister also said “The waiting list for the National Housing Scheme is still long and there is a discrepancy in the terms and requirements in the scheme such as land ownership and income, adding that said such decision could not be easily made.”

The minister said It is currently under discussion under a committee to tackle poverty and housing.