Monday, September 25, 2017

Demand sky-high for Mahabandoola rental housing

Applications from would-be renters in Yangon’s newest public housing development have been flooding in, at a rate 30 times greater than the space available, officials say.

Construction workers move materials at the site of Mahabandoola rental housing. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing / The Myanmar TimesConstruction workers move materials at the site of Mahabandoola rental housing. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing / The Myanmar Times

Yangon Region government says it wants to rent out the Mahabandoola rental housing development before its term ends at the end of this month.

More than 35,000 people have applied for the 1200 apartments available in the development, at the corner of No 2 Yangon-Mandalay Road and Mahabandoola Road, South Dagon township.

The regional government says tenants will be chosen by lot, and the 590-square-foot apartments will be allotted only to people who own no other property. The rent will be K30,000 a month.

U Kyaw Soe, minister for forestry and energy in Yangon Region government, who has been given responsibility for handling the rentals, says lots will be drawn without any discrimination as to employment.

“Everybody wants to stay in this accommodation. We began this project, and we will complete it in our term of office. Construction is nearing completion. We have to draw lots to select the tenants because the number of applicants is so high,” he said.

“The development is intended for people who have nowhere else to live. If we receive a complaint that any of the lottery winners already owns a property, we will give the apartment to the next person on the list. So we will initially accept more applicants than there are places.”

Applicants have to sign a statement affirming that they own no other property, and government staff will also need a statement from their supervisor. Any tenant who fails to pay the rent on time, or who breaches the conditions of residence, may face eviction.

Though Yangon Region government has allocated affordable housing for sale by drawing lots, some winners resell the apartments at a profit, or sub-let them.

Amid falling demand for real estate across the city over the past year many lottery winners in other low-cost projects have failed to take up their allocated apartment.

“Some lottery winners try to sell their apartments. If they can’t find a buyer, they don’t bother to contact us,” said U Kyaw Soe.

“This time, we will allocate apartments to 200 more people on the waiting list, so that if we find anyone breaking the rules, we can put someone else in the apartment immediately. We have also built in legal safeguards in the rental contracts.”

Lots will be drawn publicly on March 13 at Myanmar Event Park in Yangon.

The Union government has allocated K46 billion to build rental housing in the coming fiscal year, of which Mahabandoola housing has been allocated K20 billion.


Translation by Thiri Min Htun