Housing sector unable to meet requirements: NRI

The housing sector in Port Moresby has not been able to meet the requirements for providing affordable housing.

This is according to a recently published Issues Paper by the National Research Institute (NRI).

The report reveals that housing prices are generally high and many people may find it difficult to meet the requirements to access the First Home Owners Scheme (FHOS), especially the initial 10 percent housing loan amount as well as the 4 percent interest rate on the loan.

Furthermore, there are few economic incentives to attract private developers to provide affordable housing and a shortage of secure land for development, which increases housing costs.

Several policy lessons have been put forward by the paper to mitigate the affordable housing issues. They include:

  • Developing a standard for measurĀ­ing housing affordability in PNG and a housing scheme that primarily targets low-income households;
  • Having more access to building materials, customary land and tax credits;
  • Providing trunk infrastructure, streamlining the roles of government housing agencies and private developers;
  • Building more high-rise multi-family apartments, supplying more houses and apartments for rentals;
  • Introducing more housing schemes; and
  • Effectively monitoring the quality of houses supplied by private developers.

The report further states that housing affordability standards and guidelines are required to identify target groups of residents and ensure that they benefit from the affordable housing scheme.

The Issues Paper by Property Sector Development Research Program Senior Research Fellow Associate Professor, Eugene Ezebilo, provides insights into developing an effective and efficient affordable housing strategy in Port Moresby and in major towns.

It reports on standards used for measuring housing affordability and discusses whether the housing sector in Port Moresby has been able to meet requirements for providing affordable housing.

Cedric Patjole