The president and CEO of the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), John B. Davies, has recommended fast-tracking the mortgage loan process for applicants wishing to buy affordable homes in Matadi, Brewerville and the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Housing Estates in Montserrado County.
Mr. Davies made the recommendation recently at the signing of an agreement between the National Housing Authority (NHA) and LBDI that brought together stakeholders and executives from the two entities.
The aim of the housing initiative is to achieve economic justice through home ownership by making a large quantity of affordable housing available to Liberians in the low-to-middle income brackets.
According to Mr. Davies, the fast-tracking of the loan process will allow applicants to access funding from the LBDI bank through the NHA Home-ownership Program.
Mr. Davies disclosed that the bank has so far cleared eight of the 15 applicants for mortgages and approved their applications.
LBDI has made available US$2 million for the program he informed the NHA management and those who attended the signing ceremony.
He urged the NHA management to take advantage of the program by working along with other applicants to access the funds.
Mr. Davies said the lack of long-term financing to enable low and medium income earners to own homes is one of the major factors that limit housing construction and delivery across the country.
He said he is committed to working with other stakeholders to remove all the bottlenecks which have impeded the progress of moving the program outside the county. He admitted that only about 25 percent of the program has been extended outside Montserrado County.
“I think we can do more,” he said, promising that his management will work with all financiers, development partners and the government to ensure that the requisite funding is available to allow citizens in the southeastern and other regions of the country to also feel and appreciate the sense of home ownership.
“The program has transformed the lives of over 180 Liberians from all sectors of the society who have now had the opportunity to possess their own homes,” said Davies.
Over 80 percent of the funds that have been disbursed have benefitted 26 percent of government employees, he disclosed.
NHA Managing Director Samuel Wlue emphasized the need for the bank to grant Liberians equal opportunities to benefit from mortgage loans to purchase affordable homes under the NHA/LBDI mortgage scheme.