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NGOs want housing needs addressed

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times No Comments Share:

Representatives from housing NGOs yesterday called on the government to do more to help disadvantaged communities access affordable housing. 
They were speaking at the National Housing Forum, hosted by Habitat for Humanity Cambodia (HHC) at the Intercontinental Hotel, which brought together  NGOs and Land Management Minister Chea Sophara.
Ngin Lyda, an advocacy specialist with HHC, said communities living in slums around the city face many challenges when trying to access affordable housing, including high land prices, high interest rates on microfinance loans and the fact that plots given to them as compensation lack clean water, electricity or drainage.
“The momentum of addressing the shortage of housing is low and slow,” she said of the government’s response. “These are the issues we are concerned about. We hope that the government can help.”
Sia Phearum, executive director of Housing Rights Task Force, said about 140,000 people are living in squalid conditions around the city. He called on the government to continue to apply national housing policies and mobilise larger investors to meet the needs of the people.
In response, Mr Sophara said the government has been tackling the issues as best as it can.
Mr Sophara said homes for former armed forces and poor residents are being built, and the government is seeking ways to efficiently supply housing for citizens across the country.
“These policies will help by contributing to decent housing for low-income and middle-income families, promoting ownership, strengthening housing quality and access to services such as water, electricity and social services,” he said.
Mr Sophara noted the government expects the number of people living in the capital, as well as cities and towns across the country, to rise to 7.92 million by 2030, meaning about 50,000 additional housing units are needed per year for the next 15 years.
To address this need, Mr Sophara said his ministry has implemented national housing and land management policies to promote and support housing development of all types, specifically homes worth less than $30,000.

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