The Penang state government is laying the groundwork to attract people to move back into the George Town Unesco World Heritage Site.
Previous inhabitants of the heritage site have since left due to high rent or after selling off their properties to investors, as reported in Bernama.
One of the plans is to introduce micro-home shophouses.
Jagdeep Singh Deo, state housing, local government, town and country planning committee chairman, said this micro housing concept attract people to move back in through affordable rent.
He was replying to a query from Gooi Zi Sen, Pengkalan Kota state assemblyman, during the state legislative assembly sitting, while discussing the government’s plans and policy for ‘repopulating’ George Town.
Jagdeep said the state government has mapped the topology of the 259.42-hectare site and identified Category I and II buildings (which must be conserved as original), as well as those that permit redevelopment (ie. infill and replacement).
“A RM3 million Heritage Habitat Seed Fund has been started with the money channelled to Category II building owners who intend to offer long-term tenancy,” he said.
The aid is a way to acknowledge the contribution of heritage building owners and long-term renters to the area’s cultural heritage and values.
The fund will also help with the cost of professional fees, as well as for restoration and building materials for those selected.— Construction+ Online