Housing negotiations underway: Abel

National
Source:
The National,Monday June 20th, 2016

 By HELEN TARAWA
Negotiations are underway between the National Planning Department and Nambawan Super for public servants to access their savings to build homes under the Government’s affordable land and housing project.
Minister for Planning Charles Abel said many public servants had enough money in their savings to build houses but they did not have land.
“This is unique and has never been done before and we as a government want to put land and housing affordable into our public servants’ hands,” he said.
“I just had a meeting with Nambawan Super Limited (NSL) board chairman Anthony Smare.”
Smare said discussions with Abel were about the possibilities of public servants using housing withdrawals from their superannuation savings under the Superannuation Act to assist their housing acquisition.
“Abel’s staff would have to work with Nambawan Super to see how it could assist members within the allowable parameters of the Superannuation Act. It would then need legal clearance and then the NSL board would have to approve it,” Smare said.
Abel said: “Those public servants can make a choice if they want to build a house. We will give them the land free, they will then access their savings from Nambawan Super”.
“They can choose the plan and build the house within two years. If not I’ll take the land back into the trust.”
Abel said they were waiting for engineering design for proper drainage. Arrangements have been made with Eda Ranu and PNG Power and work has already started at Gerehu Stage 3B.
“It’s a multi-stakeholder initiative which involves the National Housing Corporation, the departments of Lands, Justice, Treasury and Planning.
“By next month, we hope to service the blocks. The plan is to issue the first titles by this year so people can start building houses.
“The blocks are free, you can just use the land to build.”