Long wait to buy low-cost flats in Taman Damai Utama

Muthualagan first applied for the Pangsapuri Damai Utama flats (in the background) in 2003.

About 42 eligible housebuyers of the Pangsapuri Damai Utama low-cost flats in Taman Damai Utama Puchong want the developer to offer them the units soon.

They claim that the project developer had delayed the process although they had been selected for the units by the Selangor Housing Board about two years ago.

For the application of low-cost units, the housing board would select the eligible buyers after which the project developers would issue an offer letter.

The potential buyers would then apply for bank loans to go ahead with the purchase.

Selected buyer Muthualagan Subramaniam, 39, a labourer, said he first applied for the flats in 2003 and received a letter from the board stating that he was eligible for the units and was required to contact the developer.

However, when Muthualagan contacted the developer, he was told that the bumiputra quota units were unsold and that he had to wait.

He said it came to the eligible buyer’s attention that the units cost up to RM70,000 and not RM42,000.

The units were also renovated but most eligible buyers were not keen to purchase the renovated units because they could not afford it.

“I am married and we currently live in my mother’s house. I can’t afford the expensive units and I hope to buy the flat at RM42,000. That was the price advertised when I first applied to the housing board,” he said.

The eligible buyers were represented by the Kelab Harmoni Selangor president Dr V. Sunder, who brought the matter to the attention of the media.

He wants the housing board to intervene and resolve the matter.

Dr Sunder said the developer attended a meeting chaired by the housing board in late 2015 and agreed to sell the houses at RM42,000 and issue the official offer letters.

However, in a letter from the developer dated Oct 3, to Dr Sunder, it was stated that only 15 units costing RM42,000 were left.

The letter also stated that only renovated units priced between RM69,300 and RM70,000 were available.

Developer Medan Damai Sdn Bhd told StarMetro that it had obtained approval from the authorities to sell the units with renovation packages.

The spokesman said the low-cost housing scheme was approved with certain conditions, one of which required the developer to sell 60% of the units to bumiputras.

Second, the developer had also obtained approval to sell the units with renovation package.

Third, the developer had not forced anyone to buy units with renovation.

Lastly, the developer had not given permission or engaged with any third party to sell or act on their behalf in whatsoever manner in relation to the housing scheme.

The developer explained that with the rising cost of construction and to ensure that the contractor engaged is promptly paid and the project was completed smoothly it was inevitable that some of the units were renovated to cover part of the cost of construction.

“The units cost RM42,000 with a renovation contract agreement at RM28,000 onwards.

“The renovation may also ease inconvenience of our purchaser from hacking. It would further improve their living condition on their home and purchasers are able to apply bank loan for the said works, and the purchaser would not need to pay a large sum of money to renovate the said unit,” said the spokesman.

She added that the developer was working with the relevant authorities to seek their assistance on the bumiputra units. Once that was resolved, the developer would be able to release the units to the eligible buyers by drawing lots.

“As we mentioned, the scheme is running at a deficit and there is no reason for us to delay the sales,” she said.

As of press time the Selangor Housing Board did not respond to the queries by StarMetro. - By Sheila Sri Priya (The Star)