As of July 2020, Liberia’s population was estimated to be 5 057 681, with an annual population growth rate of 2.44%. Liberia’s current housing system is suffering major setbacks due to the impact of Covid-19, although economic activity in the country was already declining.
The average interest rate on mortgage loan products offered by Liberian banks was 13.69% from Q2 2015 to Q1 2020. Provision of adequate housing to millions of low income households globally, and especially in the urban centers is one of the challenges being faced by people everywhere. In Liberia, this means being able to build new houses within every five minutes until the year2030. Obviously, Liberia’s current housing system is in dire need of help.
Along with this dire need of help, Cities Alliance in Greater Monrovia conducted a research survey in 2016 on this issue. According to this research, more than 80% of the Liberian population obtain their income from the informal sector and 67% of these people live below the poverty line.
As a result, most construction decisions by the average Liberian household is based on price and not quality. People are trying to manage what they have to ensure it can be spread across all their basic necessities for living, before thinking of “luxuries”. Now, there are numerous homes that can be termed “indecent”. The lack of decent homes is further aggravated by the costs of building materials as well as other factors including paying for the construction firms and the the staggering level of unemployment in the country.
Last year, The Managing Director of the National Housing Authority (NHA), Celia Cuffy-Brown stated that the construction of housing units for low income earners had started in the country. She went on to say that the company in the public-private partnership contracted to build 60,000 units had already put up 300 housing units in the Towel Hall Community and 500 in Schefflin as part of the memorandum of understanding9MoU) singed.
In all, should all plans go on accordingly, Liberia appears to be on the road to recovery with respect to its housing situation. People would be able to afford decent homes and direct their savings to other uses as they wait for the resolution of unemployment issues as well.