The National Housing Authority (NHA) with support from its international partners: Habitat for Humanity International (HfHI) and Cities Alliance (CA), has presented cash awards of 100,000 Liberian Dollars to the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) in Kakata, Margibi County and 50,000 Liberia Dollars to the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC) in Gardnersville, suburb of Monrovia.
Both institutions emerged as winner and runner-up of the Innovative Housing Designed Competition held on September 27, 2017 at the official launch of the Slum Upgrading Unit of the NHA. Besides the cash prizes, BWI also received 40,000 Liberian Dollars, while MVTC received 30,000 LRD, respectively to cover preparation cost for their participation in the contest.
During the formal presentation, Mr. Es-Samir Bropleh, Coordinator of the newly established Slum Upgrading Unit of the National Housing Authority thanked the students for bringing pride to their respective institutions and encouraged them to always take their lessons serious.
Mr. Bropleh also informed the public that the Slum Up-grading Unit of the NHA was established as a specialized unit to work with slum dwellers and other partners in addressing the housing needs of slum dwellers especially, around Monrovia.
According to him, the Innovative Housing Design Competition was organized to demonstrate to the Government of Liberia, public sector, financial institutions as well as the slum dwellers themselves about the business opportunities that exist in investing in affordable housing for slum dwellers.
He disclosed that 70 percent of Monrovia’s population lives in slums under devastating housing conditions, so it was now time for practical actions to be taken to address the problem. He therefore, thanked Habitat for Humanity International and Cities Alliance for the level of support aimed at improving the housing needs of slum dwellers.
Also speaking at the occasion, Habitat for Humanity International Chief of Party Mr. Matthew Ndote Peter, emphasized that his organization is part of the Liberia Country Program which is a five-year Monrovia City renewal initiative aimed at addressing the overwhelming slum conditions of the capital.
According to him, the program is being funded by Comic Relief through Cities Alliance and is currently implementing eight projects through several local and international partners. Habitat for Humanity International’s role under the program is to facilitate the implementation of practical solutions to shelter challenges identified during recent assessments, which led to the development of a comprehensive slum upgrading and affordable housing framework.
Mr. Harry Tarnue, Principal of BWI and Mr. Wilfred S.K. Payne, Director of MVTC thanked both the NHA and Habitat for Humanity International for creating the platform for their students to show-case their skills. The two administrators further expressed their gratitude for the cash prizes and pleaded with NHA and Habitat for Humanity International for continues partnership and collaboration.