Shelter Afrique has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Government of Liberia which will see the development of affordable housing units with ancillary facilities at VOA and Ricks Institute in Brewerville, Montserrado County, Liberia. The project is estimated to cost USD30 million when completed.
The 1000 housing units are part of Liberian Government national housing drive aiming for 50,000 to 80,000 housing units across all 15 counties in Liberia.
The MOU was signed in Nairobi by Shelter Afrique chief executive officer, Andrew Chimphondah on behalf of the company and by Liberia’s National Housing Authority managing director Ms. Celia Cuffy-Brown, on behalf of the Government of Liberia. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Chimphondah said Shelter Afrique had been compelled by the desire to make a difference in the housing sector in Liberia as the country recovers from many years of civil strife.
Making a difference
“When we visited Liberia, we established that more 70% of the Monrovian population are living in slums and we resolved to make a difference and this has culminated in the signing of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement with the National Housing Authority on behalf of the Government of Liberia. This MOU has now created a framework for PPP, with defined obligations from the Government of Liberia and Shelter Afrique,” Mr. Chimphondah said.
Commenting on the MOU, Ms. Cuffy-Brown said it will help the Government of Liberia to address the housing needs in that country substantially by boosting the supply of affordable housing to the lower end of the market. Liberia has a population of 4.8 million people and many studies put the country’s annual housing shortage at 512,000 units.
“Our pro-poor agenda puts affordable housing at the heart of Liberia’s national development programme. With this partnership with Shelter Afrique, the government will be able to reduce the cost of housing units considerably and provide houses selling as low as USD15, 000 – which I believe will be affordable to many Liberians,” she said.
Under the MOU framework, Shelter Afrique will provide financial solutions through crowding in funders into the project, advisory services, and share research reports emanating from its centre of excellence with the National Housing Authority. The National Housing Authority on behalf of the Government of Liberia, on the other hand, has committed to providing land and appropriate infrastructure as well as sovereign guarantee in favour of all co-lenders associated with the project.
The project which is expected to kick off later this year, will be developed in 5 phases, with at least 192 units expected to be completed in the phase 1. It has been designed to accommodate 40 blocks with each block comprising 24 units. Each unit shall incorporate two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and a bathroom.