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This is what public housing looks like

Malay Mail Online interviewed Sinar Project and several residents of Kota Damansara public housing about the state of urban poverty in the area.

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PETALING JAYA, Sept 23 — Rizal Ramli lives in a cramped 700 sq ft flat in Kota Damansara here with his seven children and pregnant wife.

The paint on the front door of the 36-year-old man’s three-bedroom People’s Housing Programme (PPR) unit is peeling and clothes are strewn all over the floor as there are no cupboards anywhere. In fact, there isn’t even a dining table, chairs or a TV.

The walls are also covered with children’s scribbles because they have no colouring books or even paper to draw on.

“I haven’t been paying rent since 2011,” Rizal told Malay Mail Online. Rizal — who only earns about RM1,000 a month selling fried food like chicken nuggets and potato wedges cooked by his wife — said rent was doubled from RM124 to RM250 a month in 2011 without any discussion with the residents.

“We can’t afford to pay RM250,” he said.

He said the management — Perumahan Dan Hartanah Selangor Sdn Bhd (PHSSB), a subsidiary of state-owned Lembaga Perumahan dan Hartanah Selangor (LPHS) that took over management and operations of the building in May 2013 from the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) — has tried to evict his family two or three times, but were unsuccessful as they didn’t have a court order.

(A check with PHSSB later revealed a strange contradiction in facts. They insist that they have a 100 per cent rent collection rate, though this is not always paid on time.)

“I tell them that I’m not a pendatang,” said Rizal, who was among the first people to move to the Kota Damansara PPR 14 years ago.

"You’ve got people who are supposed to stay there for only one year before they get on their feet, but they’re living there for eight to 10 years, so that means these people are not moving out," - Khairil Yusof

- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/this-is-what-public-housing-looks-like#sthash.c0jUIdck.dpuf

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