Real estate brings in challenges

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 21st August, 2012

THE real estate industry is giving a stiff challenge to the National Housing Corporation by taking advantage of the housing shortage in the country, corporation chairman, Benny Kokorowa said last week.
Kokorowa made the comment during a welcome ceremony for new Minister for Housing and Urban Development Paul Isikiel last Friday at the Sir Donald Cleland pool in Port Moresby.
He said housing was a fundamental crisis in the country as the corporation could not provide enough and cheap accommodation for government and private sector workers.Kokorowa said that resulted in profit-motivated real estate companies imposing high rentals.
He said because real estate companies were private enterprises and not regulated properly by the government through the corporation or other government regulatory bodies such as the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC), they “are heavily putting up rental bills”.
He said the corporation had a commercial arm, the National Housing Estate, that was profitable and would self-sustain the corporation by imposing low rentals.
“We got to ensure this arm of the NHC operation is cheap so that it can ensure PNG affords quality accommodation,” Kokorowa said.He said real estate companies were yet to be regulated and there was no act to regulate pricing.
“As you cannot make a free enterprise, it is the one that is making money for this country’s economy.
“We cannot go out and regulate the price of the real estate industry,” he said.