By Antoinette Sendolo
The National Housing Authority in collaboration with the UN-HABITAT recently ended a two-day policy validation workshop in Monrovia aimed at creating awareness on the National Housing Authority Policy draft.
The validation workshop which was held at the Monrovia City Hall brought together several stakeholders and government officials amongst others to understand the current status and challenges of the housing sector in the country.
Speaking about key housing challenges in the country, the housing policy Consultant, Dr Kwadwo Ohnen Sarfoh, named population growth and distribution as one of the major housing challenges across Liberia.
Also speaking was the Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and the Deputy Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, who noted that it is important for everyone to have access to quality housing facility noting that it is a basic human right.
She said the UN-HABITAT has been working with the National Housing Authority over the years to upgrade the urban sector in Liberia but noted that there are many challenges faced by the housing sector across the country.
Dr. Kacyira pledged the continuous support of the UN-HABITAT to the upgrading and development of Liberia’s urban sector.
Meanwhile, The Vice President of the republic of Liberia Amb. Joseph Boakai noted the Government is very conscious of the fact that housing shortage has always been a major problem over the years in the country adding that the situation was compounded by the civil war.
He said, the government undertook to stand with other actors to formulate strategic approaches to tackling the twin-problem of affordability and accessibility which has long impeded the progress of housing in the country and asserted that the problem truly needs to be addressed on a sustainable basis.
Amb. Boakai however said the government remains committed to developing the urban sector and seeing the housing sector of Liberia be transformed and improved adding that all citizens, irrespective of gender, class and social standing have a right to adequate housing.
The objective of the National Housing Policy is to facilitate the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing and to deepen the intersection between macro-economic management, social welfare provision and the housing sector amongst others and to reinforce the poverty reduction capacity of housing in the country.
The policy also seeks to promote the development of a mix of ownership and rental housing that is adequate and affordable and facilitates settlement upgrading and improvement of existing housing.