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"Navigating the Affordable Housing Market in Urban Cities"

Ref No : 02/18/04 12 Feb 2018 Embargo : For immediate release    

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) in partnership with the World Bank Group today organised a Networking Event on Navigating the Affordable Housing Market in Urban Cities at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC). 
This event was held in conjunction with the World Urban Forum 9, a conference on urban issues. Aimed at providing a platform to share insights on how countries have successfully narrowed the affordable housing gap, the session also deliberated on the need to recalibrate housing market policies in Malaysia. 
Puan Norzila Abdul Aziz, Assistant Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia and Mr. Faris H. Hadad-Zervos, Country Manager for Malaysia from the World Bank Group delivered the opening remarks.
The panel discussion was moderated by the Executive Director of Jones Lang Wootton, Mr. Rohan Padmanathan, and featured international experts on the topic of affordable housing including representatives from the World Bank Group, Dr. Sameh Wahba, Global Director, Social, Rural, Urban and Resilience Global Practice; and Ms. Dao Harrison, Senior Housing Specialist on Urban and Disaster Risk Management, Mr. Samma Kitsin, the former Director-General of the Real Estate Information Centre in Thailand, and Mr. Claude Taffin, a Senior Consultant from France specialising in Social Housing Policy.
Housing affordability is a global concern plaguing key cities around the world. In 2014, it is estimated that 330 million urban households globally live in substandard housing or are financially overstretched by housing costs. In Malaysia, urbanisation and population growth have contributed to a shortage of affordable housing supply.
In an effort to promote sustainable urbanisation, a key agenda for many cities worldwide is ensuring that housing is affordable to the masses. The panelists exchanged ideas and explored creative ways of dealing with barriers impeding affordable housing development, focusing on:

(i)    The role of a central housing authority in coordinating across relevant housing-related federal, state and local government agencies in the delivery of housing policies and initiatives. This includes achieving the right balance between supply and demand side policies through well-designed and targeted government initiatives.

(ii)  How countries have leveraged on technology and an integrated database in ensuring effective policy-making. The discussions included considerations on the importance of reliable housing market database, and the role of Big Data and other technologies in developing affordable housing policy. 

(iii)The role of affordable rental market as an alternative to home ownership.  Deliberations on measures to develop the rental market included the need for a proper regulatory framework and effective government subsidies. The deliberations also compared different international rental models and best-practices.

The discussions will also pave the way for potential robust solutions in addressing the housing issue which affects the urban community.

Bank Negara Malaysia
12 Feb 2018

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