Feb 26, 2009, 4:34 AM
A housing bill has just been passed by the National Assembly that seeks to establish a Housing Finance Corporation, which is distinct from the Social Security Corporation, and shall be responsible for the administration and management of a Housing Fund.
As suggested by many, the corporation must look at ways of expanding into rural areas, rather than concentrating much in the urban areas.
"People are poor; so making a housing scheme expensive will make it difficult to acquire it," a particular NAM was quoted as saying. This is the truth.
The bill is timely and relevant. Some private estate agencies do ask for huge sums of money from beneficiaries of their housing schemes. We hope the new Housing Finance Corporation would cater for all classes of society, especially the underprivileged.
According to the Minister of Finance, government has identified 19 sites for the housing project.
We must admit that people deserve to live a dignified life, thus the need for an affordable housing scheme for all, regardless of their social status.
All efforts should be exhausted to make the Housing Fund a success, and to reach out to every people in part of the country.
Another important matter that must be considered is that whenever land is taken from individuals or communities for such public housing schemes those affected must be adequately compensated.
The issue of the high costs related to house rent within the Greater Banjul Area is also relevant, thus we welcome the new Rent Tribunal Bill.
The tribunal should ensure in its operations that henceforth, landlords treat tenants with respect and fairness.
Unnecessary, ceaseless increase of the house rent, and the era of landlords asking for exorbitant rent for new houses or unreasonable rent for their old property must be a thing of the past.