Briefingsessie voor leden over huisvesting (Engels)

Briefing Housing 0

On October 15th 2010 the 2nd information session for members of parliament of Suriname was held by the UNDP Programme "Capacity Building for Strengthening the Parliament of Suriname".

The theme of this session was "Housing" and the objectives were to:

  1. Provide an overview of issues pertaining to the Housing sector from a National and International perspective;
  2. Provide critical information to inform Parliament’s role and work in enacting legislation, taking into account issues related to Housing such as sustainability, the environment, infrastructure and financing.

32 of 51 members of parliament were present during the sessions.

The day was opened by the Speaker of the House Mrs. Jennifer Simons and the Country Director of the UNDP Mr. Thomas Gittens, who took the liberty at that time to present the final report of the first session on Climate Change. In his opening speech Mr. Gittens mentioned that “Housing is a human right and one of the MDG’s”. The Speaker mentioned that “Housing is a basic need in life which additionally allows us to meet other needs.” The discussion was led by Mrs. Cornelly Olivieira president of the Women in Business Group, a partner in one of the main housing funding programs LISP, while the presenters came from different disciplines involved in the housing sector. The days programme consisted of three parts:

  • Part1: a general overview
    • Spatial Planning: the foundation for sustainable housing policy – ir. Marcel Meyer Chairman of the order of advising engineers in Suriname (O.R.I.S.)
    • An overview of the work of UN Habitat in the Caribbean region – Mr. Alain Grimard UN Habitat
    • Social and Health related aspects of Housing – Maggie Schmeitz UNICEF Suriname
    • General findings and conclusions of previously held “Housing Seminars” in Suriname - ir. Martinus; ADEK University of Suriname;
  • Part 2: The current situation in Suriname addressing various issues, current programs and solutions with topics like:
    • Financing Modalities for the various income groups - Drs. Sigmund Proeve; Chairman of the Surinamese Bankers Association
    • The Low Income Housing Programme (LISP) – Mrs. Dynaida Baptist; Director of Stichting Low Income Shelter Program
    • The Role of the Private Sector in the Housing Sector - ir. Anthony Wong Chairman of the General Contractors Association (AAV)
    • Spatial Planning and Analysis - Rachel Doest, BSc.; Pearl Nahar, BSc. GLIS
    • "The housing issue is more complex than building houses; A perspective on social housing" - Derrick Emanuels Bsc., Chairman of the Union of Architects in Suriname
    • Statistics on Housing and Building in Suriname – Mw. E. Ritfeld; Drs. A. R. Talea; General Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
  • Part 3 gave an opportunity to the local private sector to present innovative solutions to housing issues. Participants from the private sector responded to an advertisement for the submission of presentations to Parliament. A total of 35 entries led to a selection of 9 presentations by a committee of parliament. Other participants from the private sector joined the sessions at this time.

During the day a short questionnaire was submitted to members to express views on housing issues, policies and legislation. One conclusion was the need to continue the discussion on housing on issues such as utilities, land rights and legislation.

According to 62% of members the most pressing issue in housing is that too many families are without a home. The second issue here is the complex financing process (57%). In addition 47% views building a house as being too expensive and 43% says renting a house is too expensive.

37 different answers were given by members about their views as the main source of the housing issues brought forward. The main reasons given can be categorized as policy issues, market failure and land availability.

The main government agency and private sector stakeholder in finding a solution to these issues are viewed as the Ministry of RGB (spatial planning and forestry) (81%) and the financial institutions and banks (71%). 2 members that see the solution in an institute for spatial planning and/or a housing authority.

An overwhelming 81.0% of members say priority for government housing policy should be adequate Land allocation and distribution and in seeking Solutions for financing. 38% say enabling the housing market should be the priority and 28% say housing policy should focus on Spatial Planning and Social Housing programs.

The members say that their most important role to improve the housing situation in Suriname is to prepare and adjust legislation (71.4%), Monitor government policy (66.7%) and 38.1% sees the establishment of a permanent housing committee as a priority.

To the question which housing legislation should receive priority from parliament answers were given prioritizing Financing and a housing fund (9), Land distribution (7) and construction laws (5).