On the 100th day of his tenure today, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan officially launched the zero down payment housing program, which was one of the cornerstones of his election campaign that promised affordable housing for low-income citizens in Jakarta.
Despite being criticized by many for being unrealistic, including Bank Indonesia (Indonesia’s central bank), which said that it would actually violate national lending regulations, Anies’ administration went ahead with the program as the governor attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the first two residential towers to be built specifically for the program in Pondok Kelapa, East Jakarta.
“We are fulfilling one of the promises that is most remembered by the people today. We are committed, we don’t want for there to be political contracts that we haven’t fulfilled four years from now,” Anies said at the ceremony today, as quoted by Merdeka.
“This is so that everyone can have a home. This is important to solve the disparity problem in Jakarta.”
The towers, named Klapa Village, will be built on a 1.4 hectare land in Pondok Kelapa. One of the towers, which is targeted for completion this year, will feature 513 apartment units measuring 36 square meters valued at IDR320 million (US$23,995) and 195 units measuring 21 square meters valued at IDR185 million (US$13,849).
During the ceremony, Anies reiterated that to qualify for the zero down payment program, participants must have a minimum monthly salary of IDR7 million (US$524). This is in direct contradiction to his campaign promise, in which he said that the program would be for low income citizens earning less than IDR7 million per month — something that his administration conceded was unrealistic after carrying out a feasibility study even before Anies took office.
With that in mind, will Anies’ zero down payment program help low income citizens at all? Well, according to a recent study, only 17% of millennials in the capital currently earn more than IDR7.5 million (US$561) per month and even then they can only realistically take out a mortgage on a property valued at IDR300 million (US$22,458). According to the study, by 2020, only 5% of millennials in Jakarta will be able to buy their own homes due to the huge disparity between rising property prices and the average income.