Today I want to talk about my vision to create affordable housing for Sierra Leoneans. Demand for affordable housing is growing rapidly due to increase urbanization rate in our cities. Affordable housing remains a major challenge in Sierra Leone, which are constrained by factors such as poverty, lack of effective leadership, unemployment, a lack of long-term financing, land management systems in need of reform, and a rising cost of building materials.
As president, I will pay special emphasis on the key challenge of housing affordability and the critical need for housing products and finance that explicitly target the income profiles of the majority.
If elected president in 2018, my government will encourage, support and provide housing finance practitioners, investors and banks with a current update of practice and developments in housing finance in Sierra Leone, reflecting the dynamic change and growth evident in our country. Department of Housing & Maintenance (DOHM) will be created under Ministry of Lands & Country Planning to provide housing opportunities to the people. This will include building affordable houses for the poor.
During my frequent visits in communities, I saw urbanization is an important factor in the increased demand for housing in Sierra Leone. However this remains an exclusive privilege and there are acute shortages of affordable housing in Sierra Leone. The high cost of land and building materials have been among the biggest impediments to the supply of affordable housing in Sierra Leone. This puts pressure on housing affordability for those not yet on the property ladder. Poverty remains the biggest constraint to affordability. Most poor people still live in rural areas in Sierra Leone. The fact is that we have an economy now that’s working well only for those at the very top. Unless we adopt a new approach to economic & housing policy, we’re going to continue going down this path, which means growth that does not really benefit the great majority of people in Sierra Leone. Great wealth can make a country, wealthy. But if it’s allowed to stick entirely to the top, then if can do more harm than good.
If elected President, Sierra Leoneans will have access to affordable housing, clean water, sanitation and sustainable power. This is essential for economic and social development.
Decent housing is one of the key factors in the fight against poverty and social exclusion – it is not just about putting a roof over someone’s head. Everyone can agree that access to a clean and stable home implicates an improvement in security, health and education.
I believe that the way we will succeed is by winning a race to the top: rebuilding Sierra Leone together as One Nation in which everyone plays their part. Every community throughout our country are struggling with affordable housing. My vision is a Sierra Leone where everyone has a decent place to live. Together we stand! Together we rise!
God bless you.
God bless Sierra Leone.
©Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray~ADP, Chairman & Leader.