Holds first meeting with Real Estate developers/home builders in the country
The Managing Director of the National Housing Authority Duannah Siryon Friday, April 5, 2018, held an important meeting with few representatives of the Liberia Builders Association.
The meeting was held in the conference room of the NHA, near the Executive Mansion grounds in Monrovia, according to a press release yesterday.
Those in attendance at the end of a one-week public announcement included Mr. Bangale Kaba of the Regional Construction Company (RCC), Stephen G. Tolbert, Sr., of the Blue Star Cont. & Engineering Service Inc., Francis Lahai of the Millennium World Incorporated and Mr. Amara Donzo, a housing development expert with extensive knowledge in low-cost housing.
Mr. Siryon informed attendees that the organization of a group of professionals to be responsible in the real estate sector could bring maximum benefits to their entities and increase the development quota of the NHA’s responsibility to build affordable housing units for low-income Liberians.
He said as part of its responsibilities, the NHA is tasked with developing and setting the agenda for Liberians who are involved in the housing sector. “Your presence here is to find out from you if the idea to develop a real estate sector is something you will subscribe to,” he said.
He added that the NHA has seen the need for the creation of such an entity and therefore he thought it wise to get Liberians who are in the sector to be involved for maximum success.
“In fact, we are seriously concerned about your relationship with the NHA since you have been doing business with the entity for many years,” Director Siryon said.
He said one of the goals of such an entity would be to publicize vacant apartments or homes as desirable, attractive housing options that are viable for Liberians, as well as being part of apportioning contracts to its members when the occasion arises.
Separately, representatives at the meeting recounted their hostile relationships with the past management of the NHA, which they said was the reason many of their colleagues chose to stay away from the announcement for the gathering.
They noted that they could see the frankness of the new NHA administration and said in unison that they are interested in working with the NHA, because they believe in President George Weah’s pro-poor agenda that is directed in placing the economy in the hands of Liberians.
Though they noted that they would not bring up past issues that frustrated them in their dealings with the NHA, they said the new management should be wary of a situation where a contractor would have to pay kickbacks (bribes) upfront before his contract application is considered, something which they said was prevalent in the past administration. “Another thing is the deliberate holding of our payment by the NHA in the past, which made it difficult for us to meet our overhead expenses,” a spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, they welcomed the idea for the establishment of a Real Estate Organization that would work along with the NHA in the low-income construction sector for the Liberian people.
As a result, and as agreed from the meeting, they have consented to work tentatively with the name “Real Estate Association of Liberia (REAL),” until their next meeting where the majority of the builders would be encouraged to attend.
Director Siryon said the NHA would play a guiding role in helping the group become better, properly organized and viable, to take on the heavy responsibility that awaits them in the real estate sector. He said as industrial professionals they will help to shape public policies that pertain to multifamily tax laws, building material pricing, codes and regulations, as well as maintaining a voice in the development and construction of low-income housing units in the infrastructural sector that is in line with the government’s pro-poor agenda.