The Managing Director of the National Housing Authority, Duannah Siryon, has held an important meeting with few representatives of the Liberia Builders Association.
The meeting which was held in the conference room of the NHA, near the Executive Mansion Grounds in Monrovia, brought together several construction companies in the country.
Those in attendance included Bangale Kaba of the Regional Construction Company (RCC), Stephen G. Tolbert, Sr., of the Blue Star Cont. & Engineering Service Incorp., Francis Lahai of the Millennium World Incorporated and Amara Donzo, a housing development expert with extensive knowledge in low cost housing.
Siryon informed attendees that the organization of a group of professionals to be responsible in the real estate sector could bring maximum benefits to their entities and increase the development quota of the NHA’s responsibility to build affordable housing units for low-income Liberians.
He said as part of its responsibilities, the NHA is tasked with developing and setting the agenda for Liberians who are involved in the housing sector.
“Your presence here is to find out from you if the idea to develop a real estate sector is something you will subscribe to,” he said.
He added that the NHA has seen the need for the creation of such an entity and therefore thought it was wise to get Liberians who are in the sector to be involved for maximum success.
“In fact, we are seriously concern about your relationship with the NHA since you have been doing business with the entity for many years,” Siryon said.
The NHA boss stated that one of the goals of such an entity would be to publicize vacant apartments or homes as desirable, attractive housing options that are viable for Liberians, as well as being part in apportioning contracts to its members when the occasion arises.
Siryon said the NHA would play a guidance role in helping the group become better, properly organized and viable to take on the heavy responsibility that awaits them in the real estate sector.
Siryon said as industry professionals, they would help to shape public policies that pertain to multifamily tax laws, building material pricing and building codes and regulations as well as maintain a voice in the development and construction of low income housing units in the infrastructural section that is in line with the government’s pro-poor agenda.
Separately, representatives at the meeting recounted their hostile relationships with the past management of the NHA, which they said was the reason many of their colleagues chose to stay away from the gathering.
They noted that they could see the frankness of the New NHA Administration and said in agreement that they are interested in working with the NHA because they believe in President George Weah’s pro-poor agenda that is directed in placing the economy into the hands of Liberians.
Though they noted that they would not bring up past issues that frustrated them in their dealings with the NHA, they said the new management should be wary of a situation where a contractor would have to pay kickback upfront before his contract application is considered that was allegedly prevalent in the past administration.
“Another thing is deliberately holding on our payment by the NHA in the past that made it difficult for us to meet our overhead expenses,” a spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, they welcomed the idea for the establishment of a Real Estate Organization that would work along with the NHA in the low-income construction sector for the Liberian people.
As a result, agreed from the meeting, they have agreed to work tentatively with the name Real Estates Association of Liberia (REAL), until their next meeting where majority of the builders would be encouraged to attend.