Site and service scheme the answer

Letters, Normal

THE ICCC released the final report on the housing and real estate industry investigation on Jan 26. We acknowledge and support the recognition and identification of bottlenecks and constraints in the housing industry. And we thank the ICCC for highlighting and exposing the housing and urbanisation concerns.
We made submissions during the ICCC inquiry in identifying some of these constraints. We also made mention of the work the Office of Urbanisation is doing to make land available and accessible for urban development, particularly real estate through the national urbanisation policy and pilot projects like Taurama Valley Customary Land and Faniufa in Goroka.
The report should have acknowledged the efforts already invested to rally wider support. What is required is to provide a coalition of support for efforts already made to address land and housing shortages.
We believe that the national urbanisation policy’s thrust for housing sector provision through a site and service scheme is holistic, less costly and more sustainable.
The way forward to address the serious housing shortage is through large-scale site and service schemes on both state and customary land. Site and service schemes cannot be viable if major primary and trunk services are not addressed, therefore, what it calls for is a determined Government effort to invest in these two areas as the capital cost are enormous and private sector and ordinary people will find it impossible to meet such costs.
We will support the proposal for a joint coordinating committee chaired by the Treasury Secretary involving NRI, PLGA, Office of Urbanisation, Works Department and others to make progress in addressing the housing shortages.
The committee could address housing (including land) at the national level and identify target towns and cities, number of plots to be brought on and the investment required in each town or city etc.


Max Kep
National Consultative Committee on Urbanisation