Against arguments that her government has not done much to the expectations of the Liberian people, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has continually stated that there is no need for arguments as the evidences are clear for all to see. And it was in this vein, she said, that the country is currently undergoing more infrastructure facelifts than previous years.
Speaking at the dedication ceremony at the National Social Security & Welfare Corporation’s (NASSCORP) Village, a project of the National Housing Authority (NHA), in Brewerville yesterday, President Sirleaf said Liberia’s developmental agenda continues to make tremendous progress, with the construction of 70 housing units for low-income earners.
“Liberia is changing,” the President confidently said, smiling. “These people are now the proper owners of these housing units. NHA has constructed quality housing units and NASSCORP has been the strategic institution behind the construction of these estates. We want to thank NASSCORP for its efforts in ensuring that low income earners have places to sleep.”
She called on new and prospective homeowners of the various estate units to take care of and properly maintain the facilities, and be proud owners of the housing units.
She reminded the tenants to ensure that their mortgage for the housing units are paid according to an arrangement with the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), and failure on their part to honor the mortgage would result in the building being repossessed by the bank.
She wants the management of NHA to extend the construction of housing units from Montserrado County to the leeward counties to benefit many more Liberians.
In an earlier statement, NASSCORP’s Managing Director, Dewittt Von Ballmoos, praised the President for her tireless efforts in ensuring the development of Liberia, including the rehabilitation of the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant, the construction and rehabilitation of roads throughout the country and other major projects.
Mr. Von Ballmoos said the construction of housing units at the NASSCORP Village started three years ago when the first and second phases of the project were targeted.
He disclosed that NASSCORP has spent US$5.5 million on the housing project as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility. “These units will be given out at an affordable cost. The proceeds will go towards the construction of more housing units in the country,” he said.
Mr. Prince Wreh, Acting Managing Director of the National Housing Authority (NHA), thanked the Chief Executive for her support of the National Housing Authority, adding: “Thanks to you, Madam President, this is a dream that has come to reality that Liberians can own their own homes now.” He said the NHA’s goal is to ensure that more Liberians become homeowners.
He praised President Sirleaf for giving young professionals the opportunity to serve their country responsibly, but was quick to note that there is still more work to be done.
For his part, the Chairman of the NHA Board of Directors, Bishop George D. Harris, disclosed that NHA anticipates dedicating the fourth phase of the housing project, comprising 53 units, with its partners.
He said NHA has constructed a total of 163 housing units, adding, “progress is being made.” He lauded the management of NASSCORP for the partnership and assured that more work will be done to build affordable housing units for Liberians around the country.
At a cost of US$20,000, a unit will be paid for through a mortgage arrangement subsidized by government at an interest rate of 7 percent over a ten-year period.
The ceremony was graced by senior government officials including Madam Miatta Beyslow, NASSCORP Board Chair; George V. Curtis Sr, the Mayor of the City of Brewerville; citizens, among others.