Improve housing affordability


HOUSING challenges are a common problem in urban development.
Policies targeted in elevating housing density and affordability requires coordination and consultation from the government to the stakeholders, from the public sector to the community.
Different kinds of housing programmes have been developed and applied by different countries.
For example in Denmark, housing cost is shared between the central authorities (17 per cent) and the municipalities (six per cent).
In the UK, the implementation of the housing policy is shared between the government and local authorities, while in Japan the ministry of housing creates five year plans which is implemented by the housing loan corporation and the Japan housing corporation (Managing Urban Growth 1983, pp. 27-28).
According to Kelly & Donegan (2015, p.77) housing is an issue largely contested in the bedrocks of Australian politics.
As many of Australia’s younger couples and less income household are disadvantaged to own a home amidst spiralling housing cost.
Many dwellings in Port Moresby are not affordable to buy.
Over the years, the unmet demand across the housing market has attracted big development companies to PNG.
Terrace and semi-detached homes in Kennedy and Sky View estates sell at a market value of K350,000 and above.
Large scale rental accommodations in Gerehu and North-Waigani are going at K1,500 to K2,300 per month’ (Port Moresby Strategic Plan 2020, p. 36).
Housing is important to the economy.
The housing construction sector alone contributes between 2.5 per cent and 13.5 per cent in GDP (Gurran, 2011).
Housing is a substantial sector in the economy meaning that it has a significant voice in the government policy arena.
Amidst being prone to speculative booms and busts in the market housing is capital intensive in that in engages a fixed asset with a very long-life span (Pulagis 2020).
Although housing can be deemed as an expensive capital asset it lasts for a long time.
Consumption may differ between renting and owning, where in the former the landlord invests in the asset while the consumer signs a periodic contract to occupy the house in return for paying a regular rental fee.
There is a need to improve housing affordability in PNG.
Government must review housing and planning laws to create more opportunities for Papua New Guineans to afford homes and access first home ownership.

Edward Pulagis
Master’s Degree in Urban and
Regional Planning
University of Sydney, Australia