By Delly Waigeno – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Cabinet has approved the implementation of the government’s 40,000 social housing rollout program, to be undertaken by the National Housing Corporation (NHC).
A memorandum of understanding signed today, between NHC and State Owned Entities (SOEs), will ensure utility infrastructure is in place.
NHC and its development partners will commence the rollout program starting in Port Moresby’s Durham Farm, Gerehu 7A and National Research Institute.
In a media conference today, Minister for Housing, Paul Isikiel, announced cabinet’s approval of the government’s 40,000 social housing program.
Most heads of SOEs were present, together with contractors and the Ministers for Lands and Physical Planning, Benny Allen, and the Minister for Public Enterprise and State Investments, Ben Micah.
Isikiel said cabinet endorsed tax breaks and a waiver of port storage and handling fees for housing materials for the project. This is to ensure that the end user can buy a house or land at an affordable price of between K250,000 to K450,000 package threshold.
Minister Micah acknowledged that thousands of public servants are being forced to live in substandard living conditions in settlements.
Minister Allen said a considerable number of houses will be built by the time the program is rolled out at Durhan Farm, NRI and Gerehu.
The engineering designs are now 70 per cent complete, and a memorandum of understanding signed today between National Housing Corporation and State Owned Entities. This will mean that utilities like water and electricity are provided before titles are given.
Over 5,000 applicants have submitted interest to purchase homes under the Build, Sell and Share concept at the back of the Public Private Partnership arrangement.