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Innovation, digital technologies to address demand for affordable housing

Innovation and digital technology will be the way forward in tackling the demand for affordable houses in the near future, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, as reported by Bernama.

He said the use of digital Industrialised Building System (IBS) and the Building Information Modelling (BIM) integrated digital design system in public housing projects will help the government to meet its one million affordable houses target within ten years.

“I was informed that digital IBS provides an opportunity to upscale our local workforce for the future, and moving forward, the technology will enable developers to build cheaper homes in a shorter period of time.

“It is also less labour-intensive, thus reducing the country’s dependency on foreign workers and yearly outflow of capital,” he said in his speech when officiating Gamuda Bhd’s IBS digital plant in the Bandar Mahkota Banting industrial area, here today.

Also present at the ceremony were Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister, Dr Xavier Jayakumar, Deputy Works Minister, Mohd Anuar Mohd Tahir, Gamuda group managing director, Datuk Lin Yun Ling and Gamuda board member Raja Datuk Seri Eleena Sultan Azlan Shah.

Dr Mahathir added that affordable houses, coupled with easy accessibility via an integrated public transport infrastructure (including rail), will improve connectivity and spur business activities and economic growth.

“This is in tandem with the government’s aspiration and strategy for national housing.

“Digital IBS will result in faster construction, substantial reduction of foreign workers dependency in the construction sector, substantial upskilling and localisation of the Malaysian construction workforce and superior quality.

“I was informed that the affordable homes will be built with the same standard as high-end luxury homes. This is the type of disruptive technology the country needs more of,” he said.

Like other developing countries, he said, one of the government’s top priorities is to provide an efficient supply of affordable houses to ensure the well-being and upward mobility of Malaysians.

“The National Housing Policy (2018-2025) focused on social housing issues at the local community level, especially in low-cost stratified housing areas nationwide and having a centralised agency to coordinate its efforts.

“The Housing and Local Government Ministry, under National Housing Policy, aims to build up to 100,000 affordable homes capped at RM300,000 by the end of the year, in line with the Pakatan Harapan government’s manifesto of constructing one million affordable housing within the next decade,” he said.

This aligns with KPKT Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin‘s announcement on 1 May for the construction of 100,000 units of affordable houses targeted under the National Affordable Housing Policy (NAHP), with 13 projects involving 30,000 units were approved by the government this year.

“Under the National Housing Policy (DRN) 2.0, we’re talking more about smart development where we want houses to be equipped with smart technologies so that people may enjoy a better living, better monitoring and for us to have better management of the property as well,” she told the media recently regarding the ministry’s performance for the past year.

“We have 10,000 units (of affordable homes) under the project, I want to look into the component for young people as well. We plan to allocate 30 per cent (of the units) to young people, single and those married with no children. The units are smaller, about 600 square feet…probably with one room and serving as transit homes for them, ” Zuraida said. — Construction+ Online

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