7 May 2013

Liberia: Board Blocks Redundancy At NHA

The Board of Directors of the National Housing Authority or NHA has placed an embargo on the ongoing redundancy scheme which has already affected a number of the entity's workforce.

The process, which began last month (April), is already creating apprehensions among the employees. NHA Acting Managing Director Stanley Kparkilain said the Board of Directors has halted the process following an emergency meeting. He said the Board issued the directive requesting the management to withhold the process until further information.

"Whenever the board speaks, we obey because we are in one accord. Furthermore, the board is informed administratively about the institution's programs," Kparkilain noted.

However the board's directive did not include those earlier dismissed by the HNA Management. Fortnight ago, redundant employees accused their former employer (NHA) of "witch-hunting" in the face of the economic hardship in the country. The NHA was enacted into by the Liberian

Legislature on April 7, 1960. It was established as a specialized autonomous housing development agency/entity of Government. Its rights and powers subject to the laws of Liberia include: planning, initiating, implementing and executing a housing development programs for the country.

It also conducts or causes to be conducted, a survey into the socio-economic problems of the people so as to facilitate the setting up of standards upon which to base plans for the erection of housing projects and regulations for their maintenance.

The NHA conducts research into living, dwelling and housing conditions, as well as the means and methods of improving such conditions; determining where slum areas exist and where there is a shortage of decent, safe and sanitary dwelling accommodations for persons of low income. Since the housing development started in the form of estates- the first and oldest being the New Kru Town housing estate built in the year 1962.

Within the period of twenty or more years, more estates namely, West Point, Stephen A. Tolbert, E Jonathan Goodridge, New Georgia and Old and New Matadi Housing Estates were built.

However, the operation of the entity has been centered mainly on Monrovia, without any service or extension to rural Liberia, where economic activities like agriculture, commerce and trade are in operation.

For the past 3 years, efforts have been made by the Management to include rural Liberia in its planned project proposals, as well as rural pilot projects for various counties of the country.

It can be recalled that since the inception of the Ellen Sirleaf Administration, the NHA has executed mortgages in New Georgia, Stephen A. Tolbert and E.J. Goodridge Housing Estates, with similar exercise pending for the Old and New Matadi Housing Estates.

The initiative is a continuation of the mortgage program conducted in the Amical Cabral and New Kru Town Housing Estates a few years ago.

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