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Published on Friday, 18 January 2013 07:44
Land testing ceremony for low-cost housing projects in Yangon(Photo-EMG)
Two low-cost housing projects proposed for Yangon may be too expensive for the people they are intended for as the 17,000 units will cost about 20 million kyats (about US$24,000) apiece, critics of the projects and Yangon residents say.
Government officials, however, continue to tout their merits. “The projects will have no land cost as they will be constructed on 200 acres of state-owned land,” the deputy director of the Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development said.
Aye Aye Myint also said the new units were far more valuable than those in other low-cost housing projects. “The value of Yuzana Housing Project in Dagon Myothit Township was between K1,000 and K1,5000 per square foot, while the value for the two new projects is about K20,000 per square foot,” he said.
The cost of additional infrastructure is included in the price, he added. “The portion of costs for other infrastructural structures such as a market, school, amusement park, bus terminals, water supply, electricity, road, meter unit boxes and lifts will be included in the … K20 million,” Aye Aye Myint said.
A construction company owner, who asked not to be named, said the price was double the price expected. “People are expecting new apartments at not more than K10 million per unit. If the land plots could be bought at 5,000 per square foot, the price of the apartment would be K10 million,” he said.
Units at public housing projects managed by the Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development in Dagon Myothhit Township in suburban Yangon are valued from K3 million to K8 million. Some low-cost units sold by private firms can be bought for as little as K1.2 and paid for by installment.
When discussions on the proposed projects were held in Nay Pyi Taw, buyers were to be given 30 years to pay for the units and they were to be affordable for people who earned as little as K80,000 per month.
Aung Kyaw Oo, director of the Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development, said “the term of installment was reduced to 10-15 years and the price of each apartment will not be lower than K8 million.” Monthly payments would need to be K100,000 under this plan.
“My salary is K0.2 million a month, which is the cost of living for my family,” a resident of Yuzana Housing Project said. “I have to pay K30 thousand in rent each month, so I cannot afford to buy the apartment if we have to pay K100,000 a month for it.”
The Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development will use K500 billion from the state budget to build the apartments and then transfer them to the Yangon Region Government for public sale.