The National Housing Authority (NHA), in an effort to improve the housing sector, has entered into a four-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), a United States of America-based organization for the development of a national housing sector policy guideline.
The MoU, signed Friday, August 31, in Monrovia, is meant to facilitate increased access to affordable housing for low income households through an inclusive market approach. The agreement will ensure the development of policy guidelines in consultation with all stakeholders; construction of community level housing pilots, and the capacity development for the private sector to play a greater role in delivering sustainable and affordable housing solutions.
It will also ensure institutional capacity building of NHA’s employees, other relevant agencies, and communities on Participatory Safe Shelter Awareness (PASSA).
NHA Managing Director, Duannah Siryon, described the partnership as crucial to the sustainable delivery of adequate and affordable housing, especially to communities living in slums.
Under the agreement, Siryon said, the authority is committed to hosting HFHI and is to provide the required support for smooth implementation of its programs through the Slum Upgrading Unit (SUU) of the NHA.
He said that the MoU serves as an impetus to the formal process, reinforcing existing collaboration between the two organizations that began since 2017.
“This is the first step in the right direction of NHA’s strategic partnerships under the new government,” he said.
He added that his entity, with shared vision, is open to partner with others in addressing the housing needs of vulnerable and low-income Liberians.
Mr. Siryon then commended HFHI for choosing to partner with the NHA, and encouraged such engagements to ensure sustainability of project initiatives.
He lauded the coordinator of the Slum Upgrading Unit, Es-Samir Bropleh, other management and staff of the NHA for their dedication and support that have now culminated into attracting international partners.
HFHI Chief of Party (CoP), Mathew Ndote, said his organization is led by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live. Mr. Ndote said that the four main deliverables of the agreement that have been earmarked are very critical to the work of the NHA. These will be achieved through an inclusive Market Systems development approach.
“Under this MoU, we intend to develop policy guidelines in consultation with all stakeholders, construction of community level housing pilots, and the capacity development for private sector involvement,” he said.
Mr. Ndote said that significant progress made so far could not have been achieved without the support, guidance, and contribution of donors, Comic Relief and Cities Alliance, relevant government ministries and institutions, the slum communities and local partners.
He expressed HFHI’s honest desire to scale-up its intervention beyond pilots and collaborate with NHA and the Liberian government beyond four years and confirmed that intensive work will commence early this week.
Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroot effort on a community farm in southern Georgia, in U.S. The housing organization has since grown to become a leading global not-for-profit organization working in more than 70 countries.
Families and individuals in need of a hand can partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home.
Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves.
Mr. Ndote further emphasized that both HFHI and NHA share the vision of providing greater access to adequate and affordable housing for low-income and vulnerable communities and plan to achieve this through working with public, private and community sector partners.
He added that the Cities Alliance Liberia Country Program provides a platform for partnership and collaboration between communities, public and private sector actors, to contribute towards improving the quality of lives for low-income and vulnerable communities and sustainable urban development.
He commended NHA for the establishment of the Slum Upgrading Unit, which demonstrates a significant policy shift by the government towards supporting slum upgrading.
Abubakar Bah, Assistant Minister for Urban Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs, and Vijay Parmar, Country Program Manager of Cities Alliance, lauded the partnership and described it as an important achievement.