Gov’t vows to build 5000 homes for public servants

Overview of Honiara town. Photo credit: RNZI / Annell Husband.

Overview of Honiara town. Photo credit: RNZI / Annell Husband.

THE Government will build 5000 affordable new 2-3 bedroom homes in the City in the next four years for public servants and ordinary Solomon Islanders.

This was made possible after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Solomon Islands Government and a developer on Friday.

Minister of Finance and Treasury Snyder Rini and Minister of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Employment Hon William Marau formalized the plan when they signed the MOU with an Asian developer Skyline Investment Group Company Ltd representatives, Chairman Jason Liu and Vice Chairman, Pan Yan Bing.

The public service housing scheme is part of the Government’s commitment to its obligation to enable all Solomon Islanders to achieve better quality of life and standard of living for themselves and their families through constructive partnership for social, economic, political and spiritual development.

The Government commitment included support to the vulnerable and ensuring that all Solomon Islanders have access to decent homes and other service, including infrastructure development and live in a peaceful and stable society.

Under the MOU, Skyline Investment Group Company will engage mainly in the development of public service housing project and township development under an Investment Plan agreed by the developer Skyline Investment and the national government which form the basis of the MOU.

The government through the Lands Board shall acquire land for the housing project and transfer such land to the Solomon Islands Development Corporation (SIDC), the partnership company that will build the public service housing project and township development.

The project comes under the private-public partnership (PPP) scheme and will be developed along the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) model.

Special Secretary to the Prime Minister Rence Sore said, the project will start early as next month, early September, depending on how quickly the government will identify and allocate land for the project.

He said the land identification and acquisition should have been completed by the end of this month, August.

This public service housing scheme will come complete with relevant infrastructure such as road networks, water and electricity at the City suburbs.

One of the proposed sites for the housing project is the Baranamba outskirts.

Skyline Investment Group Company through SIDC, which also has interests in tourism and food processing in Solomon Islands, will build the new homes and the Government shall commit to the BOOT arrangement and where the investment provided by Skyline investment Group shall be fully recovered in the best economic and business terms.

The Special Secretary to the Prime Minister said Phase One of public housing project will concentrate on Honiara City but Phase Two will the housing project be constructed at the provincial centres.

Mr Sore said the project will be completed within the next four years from the date of the signing of the MOU.

He said the final result of this project is that public servants and other Solomon Islanders would eventually own the homes.

Mr Sore said the public service housing project in one important flagship project of the Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) government and the government has the political will to see it through.

Source: PM’s Press Secretariat