Brusubi Housing Project
BRUSUBI HOUSING PROJECT PHASE 1
In consonance with judicious use of the land at the Brusubi layout, SSHFC commenced Brusubi Housing project Phase 1 comprising 110 hectares and about 916 serviced plots.
Having obtained The Gambia Government’s approval for the project and Shelter Afrique’s approval for part financing of the project in the sum of $1.26 million, SSHFC invited tenders for the infrastructure works for which the contracts were signed in December 1998.
However, following the alignment of the Badala Highway extension under the Kombo Coastal Roads Project and the resultant creation of additional number of plots by SSHFC in response to the extra demand for serviced plots, phase 1 ended up with 1006 serviced plots allocated through outright sale, 5 to 7 years mortgage repayment term. A number of Business plots were also sold outright. Land provisions were also made for social amenities which may eventually be provided by The Government or private entities recommended by the latter. Currently, the construction works on the Proposed Brusubi Social Market is in progress.
The complete housing units were provided by way of tender whereby each selected contractor was asked to build a sample house financed by SSHFC for public viewing and marketing purposes. Buyers were then free to choose their own house type for construction by the selected contractor. The sale arrangement was as follows:
1) 25 % as deposit (downpayment)
2) 25 % upon completion of walling
3) 25% upon completion of roofing, doors and windows
4) 25% prior to handing over the keys to the beneficiary
Overall, the Brusubi Housing Project could be considered as one of the Corporation’s most successful projects with achievements surpassing all expectations. The project enabled Gambians living in the diaspora to own properties back home. The resultant forex inflow from those Gambians abroad who were required to pay in forex was indeed a plus for the national economy.
BRUSUBI PHASE 2
As a result of the continuing demand for shelter as evidenced from Brusubi Housing Project Phase 1, the SSHFC decided to embark on Brusubi Housing Project Phase 2 almost immediately towards the concluding months of the BHP phase 1 and it comprises, under various options, 370 serviced plots sold on mortgage, 100 core housing units sold on mortgage, 235 serviced plots sold outright, 36 business plots sold outright and 100 complete housing units sold over two years. This time round, financing of the project was entirely borne by the corporation without recourse to external borrowing but using buyer deposits and its own investible resources.
In 2001, SSHFC decided to build more housing units instead of serviced plots only in the implementation of BHP Phase 2, the salient features of which were similar to BHP 1 but with slight amendments in the delivery process.
The total project cost was estimated at GMD 35.75 million. To address the anomalies in BHP Phase1, applicants for serviced plots were classified in to income categories. Need was also accorded an increased weight in “point Weighting System”, which is the formula used to appraise the Option 1 applications. The plot cost for lower income groups was also reduced by GMD 5000 compared to BHP Phase 1 and the interest rate also reduced to 10 % from 15%.
However, following the invitation of applications from the general public for various project options, it was found out that demand far exceeded supply and so SSHFC approached Government for an extension of BHP Phase 2. The request was granted and therefore, BHP Phase 2 Extension comprising 735 plots was created. The plots under BHP Phase 2 Extension were similarly classified according to options as for BHP Phase 2 Proper. To date, all the complete housing units and core housing units are completed and handed over to their respective beneficiaries.
BRUSUBI PHASE 1 EXTENSION
This project is co-financed by Shelter Afrique and it comprises Serviced Plots sold outright and the complete housing units offered for outright sale or on a fifteen year mortgage term. The infrastructure and other services were hooked on to the existing facilities of Brusubi Phase 1 Proper. Currently all the properties are sold out.
However, a review of the project indicates the following:
1. The mortgage default rate is pretty high partly due to the current world recession, hence the bulk of the beneficiaries are Gambians in the diaspora. However, the situation is easing up owing to the sporadic mortgage recovery campaign launched recently with the absolute backing of the current Management.
2. There exists a loop hole in the allocation letter which allows the beneficiaries to have access to their total down payment, less GMD 5000 only, in the event they want to opt out of the project or the property is repossessed. This anomaly has been addressed in the most recent allocations made.