With an estimated 57,000 housing applications on file, President Irfaan Ali last evening said that significant investment is needed to reduce the back-log and bring the system up-to date, even as he acknowledged that applications are being received daily.
Speaking at the opening of the International Building Expo, President Ali said the plan is to reduce the backlog in the next three years by developing 14, 000 new house lots in Region No.3, construct 1,000 new homes and create 1,000 lots in Region 10, while making 1000 new lots available in Region No.7 and creating 4,000 new lots in Region 6.
The President said an additional 1,000 new lots will be developed in Region No. 5 and 20,000 new lots will be developed across Region 4, which is already the most populous region.
The development of the new house lots could carry a cost of over $170 Billion, according to the President. He said even with that investment, the backlog may not be fully cleared.
He said the investment needed for the housing sector is more than the country’s capital budget in 2015 and 2020.
“That is the scale of development and the magnitude of development and work that is ahead of us, that is the level of investment that the government must find to deliver service house lots to all the applicants and this is a simple example as to where the revenue will be spent and how it will be spent to create house lots that will give, that will give you homes and empower you,” the President said
President Ali was quick to point out that that sum is for the house lots only and not the required infrastructure needed for those new areas to develop.
“In this one project alone, to develop the highway to open up the opportunity for the land, you have to invest almost $400B, that is more than the entire capital budget of this year,” the President calculated.
The President also asked those citizens with applications in the system to be patient, as the government tries to open up new areas.
He explained that with every new housing area, there are new challenges.
The President said there will be more emphasis on the creation of housing areas outside of Region 4, although the demand for housing is greatest in the Region that is home to the capital city.
The International Building Expo has brought together scores of exhibitors and companies in the housing, finance and building sectors. It continues for the entire weekend.