Call for govt to provide more housing to cut rent

National

The high cost of accommodation rentals in the National Capital District has led to many families living out of single rooms, according to Institute of National Affairs executive-director Paul Barker.
He said that inadequate number of houses in NCD was a major factor contributing to the high rental rates.
Barker said this was making housing available only to high-income earners and that it was the State’s responsibility to provide better housing.
He said that it was not just about government imposing controls or regulating prices of accommodation rentals, but about meeting the high demand for accommodation in the city.
“Though there has been more modest investment in lower-cost housing, the quantity is still inadequate to substantially alter the supply and demand equation, making it impossible for Papua New Guineans in the city to afford houses for their families to live in,” Barker said.
He said that although banks and other financial institutions had launched longer-term lending schemes, it had not helped much in altering the demand and supply for housing.
Barker said that the solution needed to be multi-faceted in ensuring that commercial developers, individual households or housing associations were able to gain reasonable economies of scale to push house prices down.
He said the Government should also focus on improving infrastructure and service delivery to the rural areas and smaller urban centres around Papua New Guinea.
Barker said this would restrain the incessant drive towards the cities, which was partly the result of poor opportunities and services in rural areas.

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