KUALA LUMPUR: The assistance rate for the construction of homes under the “Malaysian Family Housing Programme”, previously known as Housing for the Hardcore Poor, has been increased, says Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid (pic).

The Rural Development Minister said the rate would go up from RM56,000 to RM66,000 per unit for Peninsular Malaysia and from RM68,000 to RM79,000 for Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.

In announcing this, Mahdzir said for repairs, the assistance rate had been increased from RM13,000 to a maximum of RM15,000 in the peninsula while for Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan, it had been increased to a maximum of RM17,000 from RM15,000.

“The increase will help contractors deal with the higher cost of building materials, which is the reason for their failure to complete projects as there is no profit margin for the work done.

“It is also to curb the increase in the price of construction materials that the contractors have had to bear since last May, based on the price index per unit of building materials issued by the Statistics Department,” he told reporters after the ministry’s monthly assembly at Wisma Felcra yesterday, Bernama reported.

Mahdzir also said he hoped that with the increased rate of assistance for the housing programme, affected contractors could continue their projects as there would now be a better profit margin for them.

He said the increase in the value of the assistance would enable about 13,000 units to be built throughout the country.

“It will benefit more than 70,000 rural households,” he added.

Earlier at the assembly, he presented a replica of a house key to 10 recipients.

Mahdzir also presented the outstanding student award to children of Felcra settlers who excelled in the 2021 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examinations, as well as to recipients of the Felcra loyalty service award.