Government unveils ambitious plan for affordable housing

May 22, 2024 5:30 am

[File Photo]

In the next ten years, the government hopes to provide affordable housing, make more land available, and establish a mechanism to increase the supply of available houses for people through a public-private partnership.

This was highlighted by the Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad while responding to questions in parliament yesterday.

Prasad says that the financing for this has been signed with the International Financial Corporation, under the World Bank, which will act as the lead for this pilot project.

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He says that the idea was to earmark six sites, four in the central division and two in the west, with a total area of 266 acres, to develop the first pilot project, which is expected to supply around 3,000 climate-resilient and category 5 cyclone-compliant housing units.

Prasad says that out of the $2 million allocated for the PPP affordable housing project, in the budget to date, a sum of $859,702 has been utilized from the budgetary provision, and that was to essentially accommodate the holding cost of four sites.

He says the Ministry of Housing and Local Government will be looking after the project, and it is expected that there will be some additional costs.

The Deputy Prime Minister says that over the years, the number of increases in informal settlements has continued to grow, and it has become a big problem.

Prasad states that they took a careful and considered approach to get the right advice, and once the pilot project begins, it will be done properly.

Prasad emphasizes that the government is focused on ensuring that they creates opportunities and mechanisms so they can address the informal settlements in the country.