Real Estate Injustice in NCD

Thank you Desmond Yaninen for putting a shared frustration into words:

Hi all,

I’d just like to draw your attention to the issue of Real Estate Injustice in NCD.

The majority of us are average people, fresh out of school and are looking forward to buying our first homes, but as you know, the problem is the property market here is grossly overrated. I won’t get into the figures because you know what I mean. It’s a classic case of first-come-first-serve; those who entered the work force before 2000 were able buy homes at ridiculously realistic prices. But what about us? As much as I need to be independent, even a modest home in a modest neighborhood is out of my budget…renting is not an option unless I’m married and my spouse is also sharing the rent…and at the rate this market is going, I’m never moving out of my parents house.

What I’m trying to say is that with so much vacant/undeveloped land within NCD, why are we fighting for a piece of the existing suburbs – Boroko, Gordons, Waigani, Gerehu, Hohola, etc…Why can’t they just create a new ‘middle-class’ suburb for us? I’ve asked around and they’ve told me that ‘the land hasn’t been zoned yet’, SO ZONE IT THEN! (For those of you who don’t know what zoning is, it simply means creating zones for residential, commercial, recreational developments on unzoned land). Look around Pom and see all the undeveloped-unzoned hills…and imagine you owning a home on one of those hills…it would be possible if only the hills were ZONED FOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT!

Every year, thousands of kids graduate from Uni/Collage etc… and enter the workforce and where do they live? The demand on the existing suburbs is growing exponentially and without the corresponding increase in supply the prices are never coming down. It costs K100,000 to build a home…not half a million!!! JUST GIVE US THE LAND!!!

I propose that we petition Governor Parkop, NDC MPs, and relevant Ministers to create a new suburb or zone some undeveloped land for us where we can build our own homes. If we can collect at least a thousand names of eager but oppressed potential first homeowners, we can get our MPs to do something about this.

We will have to set up a committee to make sure this happens. If you’re a driven and proactive individual interested in volunteering your services in whatever capacity and joining the committee, or if you just want to register your support for this movement, please reply to this email so we can see if we have the numbers to do something about this. We may not know exactly what it takes to achieve our ends or its duration, but getting the ball rolling is what’s important right now. Please forward this email to as many people as you know so we can seriously do something about this. When we reach 1000 first-home petitioners, we can take some serious action about real estate injustice in NCD.

Please note that unless you have something to say to everyone, please send all replies directly to me.

Regards,

Desmond Yaninen

dyaninen@devbank.com.pg

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More Information here and please feel free to leave your comments on the situation:

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9 thoughts on “Real Estate Injustice in NCD

  1. Hi Desmond,

    With respect to the rental situation – I agree with you 100%.

    The rental situation in PNG is absolutely disgusting. There’s no way that an average wage earner can afford to rent a decent home in any of the major PNG towns. The only people in PNG towns that live in rented premises are those that get a house as part of their employment package. The few that can afford to rent are probably ex-pats on absolutely filthy money.

    Buying a home nowadays is well out of the reach of average Papua New Guineans. Although home ownership is certainly not the be all and end all – I do believe that folks have a right to a decent standard of living. This is not happening in PNG as most folks in towns – will end up living in some settlement somewhere.

    A classic case (and proof) that PNG leaders are totally out of touch and incapable of managing their own country.

    What PNG needs at this point in its history is a visionary – and not leaders that are obsessed with extraction at all costs and short term gains. Unfortunately, this short sightedness is an affliction suffered by politicians everywhere – not just PNG.

    R

  2. When you take a look at the property boom happening in Port Moresby, its all commercial properties (which is fair enough) and all the new apartments, and expensive ones at that are all being built in town.

    So even the private sector is no help because all the money is being drawn away from affordable suburbs.

  3. From Jonathan O’Ata
    HELIFIX GROUP of COMPANIES

    ——————————————

    Hi Damien and all,

    My name is Jonathan O’Ata, I am a hard working man with origins from a simple grassroots family, I graduated from UPNG way back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and to this date have been struggling to own a home based on my mere simple salary, and that is how far the Housing issue back dates to (“the 1980’s), so you can imagine the generations of UPNG graduate from that time who need to own a house to this present day. After twenty years in the work force Iam now a veteran “Rental Resident”, I have literally lived in rentals for all my professional life, and for that matter have moved around like a nomad from place to place, dragging my young family with me…My eldest two children are now grown up teen agers one is 19 years old while the other is 16 years old, and we still live in a rental “ My youngest daughter “Dorothy who is 10 years old” asks me…”Daddy when are we going to stop moving around??? And own our own home……? You see, the money I could save from my housing allowance unfortunately is once again subject to meeting the ever increasing housing rental rates, as it has been my experience that the housing rentals have been increasing annually without any regulation by the appropriate authorities, and as such the rental rates continue to vary from one real estate agent to another and from one land lord to another, there is absolutely no control…..and a whole heap of exploitation.

    I have tried living in the settlements to save my housing allowance but that has not been a viable option as the safety and environment for child raring became an issue, I have also tried talking to banks for a housing loan based on my salary however again to my dismay, the repayment interest rates kill me instantly. Like every hard working member of the Papua New Guinea work force, I would like to own a home in a neighborhood where I do not have to fight for my life every evening, nor worry about my and my children’s safety.

    Several issues of contention and facts are elaborated from my shared experience, 1. Employers’ have varying Housing allowance which are not uniformed to market prices. 2. Selected Categories of employees have some form of Housing allowance or rather entitlements. 3. Employee Housing schemes vary or otherwise are not existing for some. 4. Private Housing rates are un-regulated and are operating at random. 5. Due to continued pressure of increased housing rentals, we have to ingenuate financing maneuvers’ with our mere savings, NASFUND, POSF and personnel savings with great determination and in the process deny ourselves a happier life style. 5. Currently five or more families share one home.

    Some Recommendations

    All affected or interested parties should contribute to writing a paper (NEC Submission) for presentation to the present day Housing Minister and the appropriate regulators of the real estate industry, stating practical workable solutions, financing systems, Housing support options and systems for consideration to creating a Bill to regulate the “Real Estate Industry”, Control of Housing Prices.( This may be along term issue as other corollary issues relating to fuel, building materials and so forth come into consideration as well) but should not restrict us from looking at viable and approved exemptions for employees.

    Cheers

    Jonathan O’Ata
    HELIFIX GROUP of COMPANIES

  4. From Charlie Gilichibi

    ——————————————–

    I suggest the following:

    1. A forum/meeting to be called.

    2. Venue to be one of the lecture halls at UPNG considering the huge number of people that will be drawn there – I believe there could be 1000 people out there will to attend this meeting.

    3. This meeting to be held on a Saturday say between 10:00 am and 12:00 pm to allow those who wouldn’t make it during the week to attend.

    4. Jonathan and Daniel to co-chair the meeting.

    5. Agenda to be discussed should include – contact details of people who see housing as an issue, if they are renting or living with wantoks, if they are living at settlements or, how many children they have etc…

    6. Appoint a committee that will represent and run with the views of all of us who are struggling with housing.

    Some of the outcomes from this meeting should include plans for:

    1. a petition to members of parliament and relevant stakeholders

    2. monthly, peaceful protest marches

    3. housing to be an election issue at the next elections for the 4 seats in NCD and one seat each from where the provincial capital of the other 19 provinces are located. This gives a total of 23 seats/MPs who as a minimum should start fueling the housing debate in parliament.

    4. enlisting the support of civil society organisations such as PNGID, PNG AAA, Badili Club, Chamber of Commerce, and ALL THE UNIONS to lend gravitas to this cause. Then again these organisations will only give light attention to this issue because they have their own objectives to contend with. Perhaps an entity should be registered and membership sought from those who have housing as a pressing issue. There are 200,000 of them out there. Income stream from memberships will breathe life into this entity. It should then go out ear bashing to get the attention of all stakeholders, primarily the elected representatives to light up and deliver something concrete in addressing the national housing problem.

    I think housing is a problem in itself as well as a symptom of many other national issues like:

    1. high rate of crime rendering some suburbs and settlements no go zones for some. If they do, they have to do a lot of “PR” with the people living in those areas. For the busy ones who start very early in the mornings and finish late at nights, talk around those settlements/suburbs will be you’re a stuck-up person and hence, draw the attention of the bad guys to pick on because you’ll have no support.

    2. lack of land and public infrastructure that would encourage individuals to build or buy from those who have money to invest in developing new properties

    3. lack of a clear vision, strategy and drive from the current and successive governments to address housing issues in all urban centers of PNG. This is an issue that has been ticking for over 20 years without one iota of attention from successive governments.

    At the blink of an eye MPs have put ink over the line to solve all their problems with a salary rise – above and over that they now have a luxury jet. Both of these expenditure items have cost us over K100 million. It is said in the media that the salary rise will cost the tax payers K10 million. Divide that by 109 MPs and each MP is getting over K90,000 on average. Whilst for those of us like Jonathan O’Ata it takes a lifetime of struggling. Some of us will be lucky to own a home whilst most will pass on without having owned one.

    Perhaps the answer for our housing ills is for the government to create 200,000 seats of parliament so we too can give ourselves a salary rise.

    Some of us are still wondering what is happening to the chest beating about the K1 billion national housing project. This project was talked about two years ago, sliced and diced, botched up and swept under the carpet. If it did eventuate, or we hope it crawls out from under the carpet again, it will certainly cool of the spiraling rental and selling prices for properties, providing a window of opportunity of about 5 or so years for some of us to save up and buy a decent house in a reasonable suburb. As it is now, rental rates, loan rates and property prices are rising so fast with salaries and wages barely keep pace.

    We have heard about a budget deficit this year. If there will be a budget deficit next year we hope it will be a result of money well spent on addressing the national housing issue.

    Cheers,

    Charlie Gilichibi

  5. From Eri Gere Singin
    ———————————-

    Thank you. Just stop and think where your children will be when they graduate. What is the NHC doing about this? What is the Labor & Industry doing about this? What is the Home Affairs doing about this? What about the NASFUND, SUPERFUND & ALL other associations doing about this? What is this nation’s vision and future for investing in the training of its human resource it requires to manage its affairs? What happened to Land Mobilization whatever? Can the Land Owners put their land to use using a workable system?

    The 3 basic needs required by human beings are: 1. Food, 2. Clothes & 3. Shelter. You can not take one and forget the other two or vise a versa. May be we need a forum to address this issue. There is no one person/organization who can be blamed for this; however, we need a common venue for all of us to try and address this issue in a more realistic manner. We need, views, comments, suggestions, from all of us…..citizens/people of PNG.

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