The Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF) launched yesterday (Friday) a low-cost housing project, that will be rolled out across 81 plots of land at the Banian Subdivision near Luganville’s Pekoa Airport on Santo.
The project investment is valued at 480 million vatu and will provide VNPF members the opportunity to purchase land with various types and sizes of housing from only 1.3 million vatu, with the option of financing through the National Bank of Vanuatu (NBV) and a 20 per cent guarantee provided against the purchaser’s VNPF savings.
“We are delighted that Santo will soon benefit from affordable housing that is sustainable, accessible, modern and safe,” said Finance Minister Johnny Koanapo.
“This is an important initiative that will help boost the economy of Santo and Sanma Province by extension.”
All housing structures will be built cyclone-and-earthquake-proof, and able to withstand heavy volcanic ash fall. Houses will be fitted with solar power systems and a 3000-litre water tank, and will have access to an underground water well. All houses will be built with two bedrooms, with the possibility of extending to four bedrooms for most house types.
Construction of the Banian Subdivision housing estate will begin this year and will include a commercial centre, including health facilities, shopping outlets and a bank. VNPF will also be providing business development support services to its members, as well as expertise and research in support of commercial businesses operating in the Banian Subdivision.
Display homes will be ready for prospective buyers to visit in December 2020.
“Our primary concern at the VNPF is safe and profitable investment so that we can continue to deliver benefits to our members,” said Mr Parmod Achary, General Manager of VNPF.
“Strengthening our relationship with NBV will allow us to combine our strengths and work together to achieve our national goals, while helping to stimulate the domestic market and keep profits in Vanuatu.”
VNPF announced in June 2020 that it would be investing in a greater share of NBV, increasing from 15 per cent to 60 per cent shareholding, and marking the beginning of a strategic alliance between the two entities.
The Banian Housing Project is the first of many joint initiatives expected to spur investment and strengthen Vanuatu’s financial sector, with a particular focus on social projects such as housing, health and education. The alliance will also benefit VNPF members in rural areas by allowing them to make contributions to their savings and receive any benefit payments through the extensive NBV branch network.
Other future initiatives of the VNPF will focus on increasing public awareness around the functions of VNPF and the importance of saving for retirement, including for those working in the informal sector such as handicrafts and farming.