The National Grand Coalition (NGC) manifesto 2018 has committed to improving affordable and access to decent homes for all working Sierra Leoneans and their families.
The housing units will be developed targeting vulnerable and marginalized segments of society. This will be achieved by employing innovative construction techniques and creative financial models to ensure that citizens can own their own homes.
They promised to work with the private sector to develop housing units and also capacitate the Sierra Leone Housing & Finance Corporation (HFC) to develop financing schemes to assist homebuyers to acquire units.
The NGC manifesto stated that they will establish land banks with infrastructure such as roads, drainage, water and power in place for the development of affordable housing units on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis.
Implementing a national policy, they say, will require every public building, including new homes built under all PPP arrangements, to install solar panels and water-harvesting technologies in order to reduce the long term cost of ownership and promote the use of local building materials in the construction of homes.
They will facilitate the construction of high-density, high-quality low, and mid-income housing over the short, medium and long term by offering tax incentives to local real estate developers and suppliers of building materials.
Identifiable groups such as the Sierra Leone Labour Congress (SLLC), Sierra Leone Teachers Union (SLTU) and other trade groups will be engaged in an appropriate financing guarantee for the construction of homes for their members. An active mortgage market they say will be developed to expand mortgage loans to Sierra Leone.
Affordable housing has been a chronic problem in Sierra Leone since independence. This problem has remained intractable and was compounded by the influx of displaced people into Freetown during the civil war.
“The problem is most acute in Freetown where the pressure for housing has resulted in numerous slum settlements, with most of them being in dangerous areas, including river flood plains and mountain sides. These settlements have been subjected to a variety of disasters, including flooding and landslides, the last of which took the lives of more than 1,000 people,” according to the manifesto.