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Affordable housing on the up

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WorldBridge Homes Co Ltd on Thursday handed over 680 affordable homes. Photo supplied

Affordable housing on the up

Worldbridge Homes Co Ltd, a subsidiary of the WorldBridge Group, officially handed over 680 affordable homes on Thursday as part of a project to complete 2,457 units by the end of this year or early next year.

The $73 million project was started in early 2017 on 23ha of land in Roka Khpos commune’s Koh Kor village in Kandal province’s Takhmao town. Prices for the new homes range from $25,000 to $30,000.

Formerly a commune in the province’s Sa’ang district, Roka Khpos was incorporated into Takhmao town after Prime Minister Hun Sen signed a sub-decree on January 8, last year.

The handover ceremony was presided over by Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea Sophara, and was attended by government leaders and company representatives.

The handover is in line with national housing policy and aims to provide people with comfortable, safe and dignant homes that are affordable – especially the low and middle-income or vulnerable people, the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction said in a press release.

Keo Thoeun, who purchased one of the homes, told reporters that her family had raised money from her relatives to buy the house on an instalment plan of more than two years and pay $281 per month.

Thoeun, a former military officer in Pursat province, said that despite not having much income, she really wanted to have her own home where she could open a small business.

“I’m really happy to have my own home with a payment plan that is not too much of a strain for my family,” she said.

Keller Williams Sen Sok regional operation principal and Sam Sn Realty Co Ltd president Sam Soknoeun told The Post on Thursday that affordable housing is in great demand in the outer districts of Phnom Penh where many people, especially workers are living.

“It’d be wonderful if there was affordable housing development everywhere in Phnom Penh’s outer districts. It’ll give a chance for those with low and medium incomes to buy a home of their own.

“There are a lot of people who migrate to work and study in Phnom Penh, so the demand for affordable housing goes up accordingly,” said Soknoeun.

However, he said the prices of homes on the capital’s outskirts currently exceed the abilities of low- and middle-income people who must allocate their funds for food and other necessities.

“I think that if an investment company would build affordable homes with prices between $15,000 and $20,000, there would be a lot of demand,” he said.

To encourage companies to invest in more affordable housing is to require more cooperation between investment companies and the government, he said. The state can use public property and give companies the right to invest in it and sell it for cheaper prices.

There are currently five affordable housing projects in the works comprising more than 15,000 units, a ministry report said.

Two of these are located in Phnom Penh, two in Kandal province and one other in Banteay Meanchey province, it said.

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