President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has dedicated 52 modern and affordable housing units, constituting Phase One at the new Ben Town Housing Estate, Lower Margibi County.
A release from the Executive Mansion quoted President Sirleaf as stressing that the initiative is a “dream come true” for the government and people of Liberia.
“Many times,” she said, “it is not what the government can do; but what you can start that will enable the government to encourage you. You are just an example of that and we want to ask other people. Look at your example. This is an example of what it takes to build our country,” President Sirleaf indicated.
She also presented the keys to five of the 22 new homeowners who have already paid for the units, assuring them of government’s commitment to provide safe drinking water and electricity to the housing estate and called on the Ministry of Health to begin a process of finding a place to construct a small clinic for the residents of Ben Town and its environs.
She urged the management of National Housing Authority (NHA) to construct more of such housing units, especially for low income earners in other counties to alleviate the serious housing problem facing ordinary Liberians.
Earlier, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Amara Konneh, thanked President Sirleaf, and the NHA Managing Director for job well done and informed the management that US$2 million has been placed in the 2015/2016 Fiscal Budget for the construction of additional low cost housing units. “When we all come together as a team, the sky is our limit,” he emphasized.
He pointed out that it is citizens with expertise coming together and bringing on board young Liberians with talents and skills that will bring infrastructural development to the country. “There are those who do not want this country to move forward; but there are also those who want to see this country move forward,” he said.
For his part, the NHA Managing Director, Samuel Wulu, expressed gratitude to President Sirleaf for the support in making the day a reality.
The “affordable housing units” which comprise three-bedrooms, two bathrooms, one living room, back and front porches, is situated on one-half lot of land. The construction of the 52 units is the first phase which started in September 2014. Each unit costs US$20,000 through a mortgage process subsidized by government at an interest rate of seven percent over a ten-year period.
The units, which comprise modern architecturally-designed houses, were constructed by six implementing partners – exclusively Liberian-owned construction companies – namely Vertu Construction Company, Link Architect Construction & Consultants Incorporated, American Eagle Construction Company, CJ Construction Company Incorporated, Tripple N. Construction Company and Cusmos Construction Company.
The second phase is expected to begin shortly after the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission completes its process with the construction of additional 52 affordable housing units. The total cost of the project is put at US$4.2 million.