By OLIVE SUKUN
THE Department of Community Development and Religion launched its staff home ownership policy at the Duran Farm Housing Estate in Port Moresby yesterday.
“One of our challenges that everybody keeps overlooking is housing, which is a huge problem,” Department of Community Development and Religion (DFCDR) secretary Anna Solomon said.
“Many things have changed and many investors have come into the country but we are still getting K5 or K6 housing allowance like we can go and rent an accommodation for K6 or K7,” she said.
Solomon said according to statistics collected by her office, 85 per cent of her staff lived with their relatives, 10 per cent rented a bedroom in places like 8-Mile and 9-Mile and 5 per cent actually own a house.
With the launching of the policy, the National Housing Corporation has issued a letter confirming 100 blocks of land or allotments for the department at Duran Farm.
With 146 staff members, there are criteria in the policy that staff have to meet in order to acquire land titles to build a house.
DFCDR housing committee chairman George Kulisi said the main thing was for staff to get land titles before anything else could proceed.
“Many of our staff have served 10 to 20 years so they should have some money saved, which, with the help of the department, can build their houses,” Kulisi said.
Community Development, Youth and Religion Minister Wake Goi said: “This is one way for the Government to take back the country by giving back to its people.
“The Government can give land to investors but it’s good that it gives it to the people and public servants so they can invest in the country.”
By OLIVE SUKUN