MONROVIA, November 4 (LINA) – The National Housing Authority (NHA) and two of its partners have ditched out prizes to the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) and Monrovia Vocational Training Institute (MVTC) as winners of this year’s Innovative Housing Design competition.
Working in concert with Habitat for Humanity International (HfHI) and Cities Alliance (CA), the NHA presented cash awards of L$100,000 to the BWI and L$50,000.00 to the (MVTC) recently on the campuses of the two technical institutions.
Both institutions emerged as winner and runners-up respectively of the Innovative Housing Design at the official launch of the Slum Upgrading Unit of the NHA.
In addition to the cash prizes, BWI also received L$40,000 while MVTC received L$30,000 to cover preparation cost for their participation.
During the presentation, Mr. Es-Samir Bropleh, Coordinator of the newly- established Slum Upgrading Unit of the NHA thanked the students for bringing pride to their respective institutions and encouraged them also to always take their lessons seriously.
Mr. Bropleh explained that the Slum Upgrading 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 the business opportunities that exist in investing in affordable housing for slum dwellers.
Mr. Bropleh concluded by saying that 70 percent of Monrovia’s population lives in slums under devastating housing conditions and it was now time for practical actions to be taken to address the problem.
He thanked Habitat for Humanity International and Cities Alliance for the level of support aimed at improving the housing needs of slum dwellers.
Also speaking, 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 Liberian 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.
HfHI is therefore working along with the National Housing Authority through its Slum Upgrading Unit as well as financial service providers, private sector firms, development partners and communities for the implementation of its projects under the Monrovia City Program.
Mr. Ndote expressed his organization’s appreciation for the good partnership and leadership demonstrated by NHA in prioritizing low income households through the establishment of a Slum Upgrading Unit.
He also cited the Innovative Housing Design Competition as the first step in bringing together housing value chain actors and commended NHA, the administrations and students of the two vocational training institutions for their response and participation.
In remarks, 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 gratitude for the cash prizes and pleaded with NHA and Habitat for Humanity International for continued partnership and collaboration.