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LETTER | Addressing public housing, socio-economic disparities

LETTER | I recently read an article about a grant programme that urged the public to identify projects that could improve the lives, livelihood and lifestyle of residents from 10 public housing developments in the Klang Valley.

I find that this is a novel approach to get the public and businesses to be involved in programmes that could elevate the lives of lower-income members of the public.

I strongly believe that such programmes would stand to foster inclusive and vibrant urban communities, and perhaps act as a beacon of hope, dedicated to crafting innovative solutions for a better tomorrow among public housing dwellers.

Hoping to be able to participate in such a programme, I discovered that it formed part of an impactful urban development initiative by ThinkCity, which champions initiatives across the realms of creative economy, environment, people, and urban innovations.

This grant was part of ThinkCity’s Kita-Untuk-Kita (K2K) programme, a transformative initiative aimed at uplifting public housing settlements and addressing socio-economic disparities.

ThinkCity’s vision to catalyse positive change, by launching the K2K programme in 2023 to address poverty and social issues in 10 public housing settlements, should be lauded.

Urgent need for intervention

I was intrigued and in fact, astounded to have read that these communities are home to approximately 1.76 million individuals. Imagine, these could be cities on their own.

I certainly cannot visualise what the residents would have to contend with when they are often plagued by inadequate infrastructure, limited access to essential services, and a dearth of inspiring public spaces.

I believe that we must recognise the urgent need for intervention for public housing dwellers and we should all support the curated suite of entrepreneurial, community development, and research programmes under the K2K umbrella.

These initiatives serve as catalysts for holistic urban revitalisation, seeking to enhance the well-being and resilience of residents while fostering a sense of pride and belonging.

The K2K programme represents a holistic approach to urban renewal, acknowledging the multifaceted challenges faced by urban communities from the lower income groups.

By addressing issues at the intersection of infrastructure, socio-economic empowerment, and community engagement, such programmes look at creating sustainable and inclusive urban environments where all residents can thrive.

From enhancing public spaces to fostering economic opportunities, I believe K2K will help to unlock the full potential of public housing settlements, paving the way for a brighter future for all.

The recent launch of the K2K Grant is testament to ThinkCity’s commitment to empowering local communities and driving tangible impact.

This grant provides resources and support for the development of programmes or projects aimed at improving the lives and living standards of public housing residents.

By fostering grassroots innovation and community-led initiatives, the K2K Grant empowers residents to take ownership of their future and drive positive change from within.

A concerted effort

While ThinkCity's efforts are commendable, achieving meaningful and sustainable impact requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders.

Collaboration between the public and private sectors is paramount, with corporate entities playing a pivotal role in supporting urban renewal initiatives.

Through initiatives such as corporate adoption of public housing settlements, businesses can leverage their resources and expertise to make a tangible difference in the lives of residents.

Whether through infrastructure investments, skills development programmes, or community outreach initiatives, corporate engagement can complement ThinkCity’s efforts and amplify the impact of urban revitalisation initiatives.

The journey towards sustainable living in public housing requires collective action and collaboration across sectors. As we strive to build inclusive and resilient urban communities, we must harness the collective power of government agencies, the private sector, community organisations and residents alike.

Together, we can unlock the full potential of public housing settlements, creating vibrant and thriving neighbourhoods where every individual has the opportunity to lead a fulfilling life.

ThinkCity's unwavering dedication to urban renewal serves as a testament to the transformative power of collective action, inspiring hope and driving positive change in cities across the nation.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.