BY MELISHA YAFOI of POST COURIER
Port Moresby’s latest home ownership scheme is offering a home loan of K150,000, with low repayment interest rate designed for low to middle income earners.
This is being offered by the National Capital District Commission in conjunction with the International Finance Corporation, an offshoot of World Bank.
The affordable housing project followed a signing agreement between the National Capital Distinct Governor Powes Parkop and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Nadi, Fiji, on Wednesday.
Under the project, potential home owners in the low to middle income category can get the loan at lower repayment rates.
Mr Parkop announced the arrangement after returning from the Pacific Urban Forum in Fiji yesterday.
He said providing decent and affordable housing for residents in Port Moresby is always a challenge and the partnership with IFC paves the way to provide affordable housing.
Mr Parkop said everybody in both the public and private sectors are under pressure as a result of lack of affordable housing that is why there is a huge growth in unplanned settlements in Port Moresby because workers can’t afford the high cost of real estate or rental accommodation.
He said buying a house is a dream for everyone so residents are forced into settlements in and around the perimeters of the city.
“High prices and a severe lack of affordable housing are now preventing many Port Moresby residents from moving out of informal settlements and buying their own homes.
“Through this pilot project, IFC will help us open up the market for green, climate –resilient and affordable housing by drawing on the resources and expertise of the private sector,” he said.
Mr Parkop said in the last 10 years they have made a lot of progress in the city, building infrastructure, sporting facilities, improving services, improving the social condition of the city, providing opportunities, and growing businesses but still faced with the major challenge of affordable housing.
“We can’t rest, I can’t rest as the governor of our capital city until and unless we take on these big challenges that we have left in the too hard basket,” he said.
“Nobody has been able to come up with a solution up until now so we have on my priority list to upgrade settlement to suburb, to upgrade also and recognise the Motuan and Koitabu villages but affordable housing has always been in our priorities, we just don’t know how to deliver it.”
The pilot project will be taking shape at Saraga in Six Mile, which will target both low and middle income earners through a mix of single family unit dwelling and affordable flats.