PNG lacks housing affordability data to solve issue

The standards for measuring hous­ing affordability are lacking in PNG.

The country’s think-tank National Research Institute latest report on Affordable Housing revealed that it is still unclear which households are targeted by the affordable housing program, and the roles of government housing agencies and private property developers in providing housing are not clearly de­lineated.

The Report stated that the housing prices are generally high and many people may find it difficult to meet the requirements to access the FHOS, especially the initial 10% housing loan amount as well as the 4% 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.

The report recommended that a need to develop a standard for measur­ing housing affordability in PNG and a housing scheme that primarily targets low-income households must be implemented.

“There is a need for more access to building materials, customary land and tax credits.”

Other recommended actions include 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.

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

The findings of Report contribute to this and provide policy-mak­ers and urban development planners with strategies for de­signing an effective and efficient affordable housing program that meets the preferences and demands of PNG residents.

The findings have the potential to contribute to housing pol­icy and urban planning in PNG.

Freddy Mou