Affordable housing dream

Editorial

IN today’s world, they say owning a home represents security and stability.
It is no secret that Papua New Guineans have a life-long dream to own a decent home but realistically, it is still a struggle for many.
A house is usually the most expensive single purchase an individual or family makes.
Given the high cost, most people do not have enough savings on hand to pay the entire amount outright.
In many countries, including PNG, mortgaged loans are available from banks and other financial institutions.
If the home owner fails to meet the agreed repayment schedule, the bank or financial institution may repossess the property.
Home ownership gives occupants the right to modify the building and land, protects them from eviction and creates a right to occupation that can be inherited.
Houses and the land they sit on are expensive, and the combination of mortgage, insurance and maintenance are sometimes greater than monthly rental costs.
The National Research Institute, in a research paper, suggested for this to happen the private and public sector in PNG should share the responsibility in the cost of providing affordable and efficient housing.
NRI deputy director research associate Prof Eugene Ezebil was on point saying the public sector provided housing but was not quite effective and efficient as a result of bureaucracy, inefficiency and budget constraints associated with it and should bring in the private sector to share the responsibility.
The private-public partnership (PPP) all over the world had been one of the most important ways of providing housing and the most used model because it was highly productive and efficient in providing housing.
Ezebil says the PPP arrangement has a potential of improving productivity in the public sector and had the potential of boosting the supply of houses at affordable prices.
Quite interesting Ezebil says in choosing PPP arrangements for housing delivery in PNG, it is necessary to consider the risk and complexity associated with each of the PPP arrangements in terms of income groups, culture, aspiration and value.
Based on the review of several PPP arrangements in housing delivery, the suitable PPP model arrangements for PNG included the direct relationship ownership housing arrangement and the direct relationship rental arrangement.
On average, Papua New Guineans are getting paid K500 a fortnight or a lot less and simply cannot afford to house themselves properly.
They are all piling up in settlements, those that do have housing on formal land they have three or four families in there.
Due to rural-urban migration, towns and cities are growing and expanding and the population are adding the pressure on land and other basic services, unemployment and many issues to come about.
Decent, affordable housing reduces stress, toxins, and infectious disease, which leads to improvement in both physical and mental health.
Affordable housing also frees up funds within families’ tight budgets to spend on healthcare and food.
Affordable housing also is important to the economic vitality of communities.
Affordable housing increases the amount that families can put toward other important household needs and savings.
Housing insecurity and homelessness have serious negative effects on child and adult health.
Public housing helps families to afford modest housing and avoid homelessness or other kinds of housing instability.
Some developments provide access to neighbourhoods with stronger schools and more job opportunities, where it might otherwise be difficult for low-income families to rent homes.
There is an urgent need for affordable housing in PNG.

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