512,000 New Dwellings Needed to Address Liberia’s Housing Needs

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Some of the participants at the NHA-SUU Upgrading Unit and Innovative Design Competition yesterday in Monrovia

Es-Samir Bropleh, Sr., coordinator of the National Housing Authority-Slum Upgrading Unit (NHA-SUU) said yesterday that Liberia needs 512,000 new dwellings by 2030 to address the country’s housing needs, especially greater Monrovia.

Mr. Bropleh made the assertion at the official launch of the NHA-SUU Upgrading Unit and Innovative Design Competition at the NHA office in Monrovia.

He said 1,974 housing units have been constructed since the establishment of the NHA in 1960.

He said 70 percent of Monrovia’s population lives in slums under devastating housing conditions, including poorly constructed housing, lack of basic social services, infrastructure, lack of finance and severe overcrowding.

Mr. Bropleh said considering the dwelling needs of the country, the NHA-SUU is working with stakeholders to ensure that slum communities in Monrovia are assisted with their needs.

He further said the NHA-SUU seeks to create a sustainable enabling environment to enhance both housing and livelihood conditions of slum communities.

Prince Wreh, managing director of the National Housing Authority (NHA), said his institution is poised to increase support to slum communities to alleviate some of the dwelling situations in Liberia.

Director Wreh said the NHA and partners will shortly start the program, because of the growing need of the society, adding, “We are committed to ensuring that our people’s needs are addressed.”
Deputy Finance Minister for Budget Tanneh Brunson said the NHA has initiated several housing projects since the 1960’s.

According to Minister Brunson, these programs targeted mostly public servants, employed and or retired, adding, “Since the inception of this administration, the NHA has been remobilized and undertaken additional housing projects to meet some of our critical housing needs.”

For the past decade, she said, Africa has experienced strong economic growth, averaging 5.4 percent, above the global average of 3 percent per year, instilling optimism about the continent’s economic prospects.
However, she said the growth has not been inclusive and has made little impact on poverty.

Minister Brunson said, “The growth was largely driven by prices of extractive resources, especially aluminum, copper, gold and crude oil.”
She continued: “In addition, political stability, good economic management policies, and an improved institutional environment have catalyzed the growth process in some countries. In spite of all these economic growth trends, poverty still has a major impact on us.”

Madam Brunson further said the state of sanitation is now more imperative, considering the WHO/UNICEF joint monitoring program report for 2017 on the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The Cities Alliance-Liberia Country Programs’ (focusing on Greater Monrovia), which will run from 2016-2021, overall objectives are to support cities in providing effective local government, an active citizenship and a growing economy characterized by both public and private investments.

Within this context, the Cities Alliance will manage a Greater Monrovia City Program/Liberia Country Program to support local authorities in greater Monrovia to make the city and metropolitan region work for the urban poor, through an enabling national environment and empowered citizenship.

The five-year (2016-2020) program will involve in-depth consultation, community infrastructure projects, partnership and technical assistance investments with organized civil society groups, urban local authorities, national government bodies, international development partners and research/training institutions.

Meanwhile, the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) won L$100,000 as first place winner while the Monrovia Vocational Training Institute (MVTC) walked away with L$50,000 as second place winner of the NHA-SUU Upgrading Unit and Innovative Design Competition.

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