August 19, 2016

The first affordable housing rolled out in Mon State

Affordable apartment buildings being seen. Photo: Myitmakha News Agency
Affordable apartment buildings being seen. Photo: Myitmakha News Agency

The first affordable housing projects in Mon State will reportedly be rolled out in Chaungzone and Thanbyuzayat Townships in the wake of the current rainy season, according to the Mon State government.
U Wunna Kyaw, Mon State Minister of Planning, Finance and Immigration, has announced sales of units within the affordable housing estates will be prioritized to the lower-working class and homeless, highlighting how it is anticipated that each unit will be sold for between K5-10million.
“Land is ready in the two towns to begin building the affordable housing. The land in question is void of any claims or disputes. It’s as such that these two towns have been prioritized for the initial implementation of affordable housing in Mon State, with other provincial towns to follow slowly afterwards,” said the minister.
U Min Min Oo, Chief Minister for Mon State, publicly announced back on 25 July that Mon State would be prioritized during the tenure of the new government for the rolling out of affordable housing projects to meet the needs of the homeless, government staff and the lower-working class.
However, it hasn’t been enough to entirely placate public anxiety towards the initiative. Mawlamyine resident, Daw Zin Cho Win, expresses that while she believes the plan to construct affordable housing to benefit the public is a good one, she raises concerns that not only must quality be the primary focus during construction, the homeless who express interest in purchasing any of the finished units need to be scrutinized as to ascertain whether their claims of homelessness are indeed genuine or not.
“I don’t want a repeat of what happened with the Thiri Mingalar Affordable Housing Estate; the housing must be built to a proper quality and efforts must be made to mitigate corrupt businessmen from using the identities of the poor to buy up all the housing units,” she exclaimed.
The Thiri Mingalar Affordable Housing Estate was built in the Mon State capital of Mawlamyine during the tenure of the erstwhile government to provide housing for civil servants with housing units, priced at K10 million each, being sold through payment installments. However, only a few of the civil servants selected for the opportunity to purchase the units through a system of random selection actually purchased any property, seeing the majority of it being bought up by businessmen who then rented it back out to tenants, say local residents.
Furthermore, a lucky-draw will reportedly take place this August 9 to allocate 64 housing units to currently employed and retired government civil servants from within a rental housing estate constructed in the Mawlamyine Township village of Kyetthungone by the Department of Urban and Housing Development during the previous 2015-16 fiscal year.—Myitmakha News AgencyNo 4 (2)(15)


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