Low-cost housing winners out of luck

Over 100 people may be out of luck after winning rights to purchase low-cost housing from Shwe Lin Ban project in Yangon’s Hlaing Tharyar township, according to Daw Thida Than, a staff officer at the Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development.

A total of 768 different units at Shwe Lin Ban were meted out to applicants who had to first fill out application forms and then won a lucky draw for rights to purchase a unit. Daw Thida Than said not all of the winners have yet shown up to register their claims, despite being notified repeatedly.

“Out of the [768] winners, 135 people have yet to register,” she said. “We’ve called them three times. We will reject their names if they don’t register their purchase of the apartments within the allotted time.”

A raft of low-cost projects has been developed to assist those who are being priced out of the increasingly expensive market, with government bodies such as Yangon City Development Committee planning several developments, usually on the city’s outskirts.

Financing the purchase of houses and also low-cost housing has been a significant obstacle to increased house ownership.

Government-backed entities have worked to develop affordable financing options for potential buyers, with Construction and Housing Development Bank (CHDB) to offer mortgages to those who won the draw to buy units at Shwe Lin Ban.

The bank has recently extended its loan term to eight years for buyers at the housing project, as its previous four-year loans had not been enough to support possible home buyers, according to CHDB managing director U Win Zaw.

“Of course our bank lengthened the term. After stretching it out, more people are interested and the number of borrowers increased,” he said.

Daw Kay Khine has applied for a mortgage to purchase a unit in the Shwe Lin Ban project in Hlaing Tharyar township. She said the longer loan term makes it much more financially feasible for her to purchase a unit.

Those wanting to make a purchase with a CHDB loan must first open an account with the bank. The seller, buyer and bank then have to sign a contract.

Generally, CHDB requires a down payment of 30 percent of a low-cost apartment before providing the remaining 70pc as a loan. Extending the term aims to make repayments less of a burden for buyers.

It had about 100 borrowers for units at Shwe Lin Ban before the change, but now has over 200, he said.
CHDB received its licence to begin operating in July 2013. Set up by the Ministry of Construction, it aims to give long-term loans for house buyers.

CHDB officials have said they aim to extend their offerings with other low-cost housing projects in Yangon.

Source: Myanmar Times

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