Budget 2008 : Less painful way to own a house

Less painful way to own a house

FROM Jan 1 next year, EPF contributors can make monthly withdrawals from their Account 2 balances to pay off their housing loans.

“For many of us, a house is a very important asset. A house not only appreciates in value over time, but also provides security for our future. Housing repayments, however, are a major financial commitment.

“This move will benefit five million active EPF contributors. It will also enable contributors to own better houses and lessen their monthly financial obligations,” said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

There is also a proposed 50% stamp duty exemption on the transfer of documents for houses costing less than RM250,000.

To promote family values and financial security, full stamp duty exemption will be given on transfer of property from husband to wife.

“In cases where the wife wishes to transfer property to the husband, the same exemption applies,” he said.

To help those without fixed incomes to buy houses, the Government will establish a fund to provide guarantees to banks, which in turn will be asked to give loans to such groups of people.

“These will include farmers and small traders, also those who have the capacity to repay their housing loans but are unable to provide proof of their income stream,” said Abdullah.

For a start, RM50mil will be allocated to Bank Simpanan Naisonal and Bank Islam Berhad to kick-start the scheme, beginning Jan 1.

To help the poor, RM381mil will be given for the implementation of low-cost housing programmes, Abdullah said.

The Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB) has been directed to rehabilitate 6,000 units of abandoned houses. It will also build 36,000 affordable homes and 4,000 Rumah Mesra Rakyat (homes for the people).

Next year, 13,000 quarters for civil servants are expected to be completed.

The Government has allocated RM887mil in 2008 to build more quarters for civil servants nationwide.

As for the orang asli, from the RM170mil provided to the Department of Orang Asli, RM50mil will go to housing assistance and social amenities for them.

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