HFHI, Cities Alliance, SA, GOL Begin a 4-Day (May 21-24) Working Session to Launch a 4-year Project ‘Facilitating Increased Access to Affordable Housing through Inclusive Market Approaches’
A 4-day working session, led by National Housing Authority (NHA) in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), starts today at the NHA’s conference room in Monrovia.
The participants include representatives of the Liberia Country Program, including Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), Cities Alliance, Slum Dwellers International (SDI) through its local partners-The YMCA of Liberia, UN-Habitat, Federation of Petty Traders and Informal Workers Union of Liberia (FEPTIWUL).
Other key stakeholders participating in the program include the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Local Government Authorities, South African Embassy, Liberia Land Authority (LLA), The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as leading private companies and professionals with innovative affordable housing solutions, financial service providers and slum communities within “greater” Monrovia.
According to Habitat for Humanity International’s Chief of Party Mr. Mathew Ndote, the four-day program marks the start of the second phase of the HFHI project, funded by Cities Alliance under a larger comprehensive city development project – the Liberia Country Program since July 2016/17.
The program offers a great opportunity for government, development partners and private sector communities to contribute towards increased access to affordable housing through inclusive market approach with the ultimate goal to realize sustainable, safe, adequate and affordable shelter for majority vulnerable and low-income households in Liberia in line with the Government of Liberia’s “pro-poor agenda”.
Key activities which will constitute discussions with GOL ministries include a visit to slum communities and initial discussions with private sector firms to scan existing innovative and affordable housing designs, technologies, and construction materials in the country.
Additionally, discussions between the Liberia National Housing Authority and South African government representatives are expected to lead to actualization of a cooperation agreement between NHA and the Department of Human Housing of the Republic of South Africa. Another important outcome of the week include a memorandum of understanding between NHA and HFHI for implementation of capacity building, policy support and implementation of selected components of the project.
Mr. Ndote said Habitat for Humanity recognizes the initiative of the government to establish a slum-upgrading unit within NHA and confirmed that HFHI plans to implement its shelter projects through NHA as a long-term sustainable strategy.
“So, Habitat for Humanity has made a strategic choice to work with the government, through NHA and bring greater Monrovia’s slum dwellers into the national development process and contribute to improving the poor living and housing conditions of the majority poor, recorded close to about seventy percent of the population in Monrovia,’’ he said.
NHA warns against extension works on estates units
In a related development, the Management of the National Housing Authority (NHA) has with immediate effect placed a stay order on all extension and construction works in the form of alterations/modifications at the various housing estates under its direct mandate and supervision.
According to an NHA release, the stay order came in the wake of numerous complaints from residents of the housing estates, as well as an independent investigation conducted by management that confirmed the reports about extension and modification works on units in the estates.
In the same vein, the NHA Management is reminding tenants about the stipulations in the tenancy guidelines they duly signed, which states that any alteration or modifications done to any of the housing units must meet the expressed written approval of the NHA Management.
The National Housing Authority said it will provide technical advice to anyone interested in any extension or modification of their units. According to the NHA the beauty of the estates, as originally constructed, needs to be maintained by residents.
The NHA management wants to encourage all residents of the various housing estates to abide by the regulations enshrined in the guidelines to ensure a smooth working relationship with its Management.
The Housing Estates in question are New Georgia Estate, E. J. Goodridge (Barnersville), Stephen A. Tolbert, Old and New Matadi, NASSCORP Village, and Ben Town.
Meanwhile, the NHA Management said it has instituted an inspectorate Division charged with the responsibility to consistently monitor its estates, vacant land and other assets across the country to ensure no illegal land sale, easements or encroachments occur.
The NHA is therefore sending a team of inspectorates to visit the above mentioned estates with a view to dialogue with tenants and other residents to promote the government’s pro-poor agenda that places the interest of Liberian citizens above the simple desire to make money.
Anyone caught violating this pronouncement will be charged a penalty of up to US$500 (or the Liberian Dollar equivalent) and that said alterations will be destroyed accordingly.