The Urban Development Authority (UDA) partnering with the Housing Development Authority (HDA) will be launching an accelerated program for middle income housing, in which the Government will strategically release land at a low cost for private developers.
According to UDA Director General Nayana Mawilmada, middle income families are being priced out due to the unaffordable accommodation coming up in form of luxury condos in the centre of Colombo and the middle income housing program will encourage densified housing along the transit corridors.
“We have chosen the railway corridors where we allow densification and we do not expect the Government to build this. We are now in the process of the Government releasing State lands. In the next year or two we will release a ton of land along these transit corridors for market-driven developments,” he said.
He asserted that certain guidelines needed to be met for a certain percentage of housing. A probable price ceiling for 80% of housing will be set, leaving space for the developer to make money on the balance 20%.
“We will systematically release State assets for this cause and we will use regulations to make the projects have some economic sense. We are looking at housing finance and we have studied the mortgage market. The exposure from banks is only about 6% in the form of lending which is dismal we are hoping to increase it to about 10% and we are currently talking with the banks,” he added.