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HFC Mortgage and Savings attempt to make housing accessible

HFC Mortgage and Savings attempt to make housing accessible

The desire to save the chronic housing problem in Sierra Leone has been the objective of governments since independence. Post-colonial history proves that various strategies have been employed like direct government intervention, encouraging and facilitating individuals to build their own houses with savings, development of co-operative and Building societies, short term loans from commercial bank and the formation of housing corporations.

However, some of these initiatives were reasonably successful, but considering the deficit in housing needs the impact has not been substantial. Many finance and mortgage experts believe housing must be tackled as a developmental problem with a multifaceted approach combing direct government interventions, private public partnership, facilitating and providing inducement for capital flow to the industry and compelling quasi-public and social institutions to channel substantial part their idle and investment fund into the industry.

HFC Mortgage and Savings (SL) Limited is a related entity of the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) in Sierra Leone in corporation in July 2007 under the other financial services Act 2001 to provide mortgage financial to qualifying individuals. Since the formation of the company in January 2008 much skepticism arose even among the gurus in the financial circles. Nevertheless, it sailed through by achieving the set objectives for 2008 which include the setting up of infrastructure necessary to operate a deposit taking mortgage company obtain the bank of Sierra Leone license for mortgage financial, recruit the requisite staff and train them.

It is also aimed that the scheme acquire, install and train staff on banking (mortgage) operations software, and sensitization on the mortgage financing as the most viable option for acquisition of houses with the first ever home mortgage finance law passed in April 2009. His Excellency the president in his address at the Inauguration of the company is desirous to see the numerous uncompleted structures littered all around the city come to speedy finish. Houses that have been deteriorated for lack of repairs and painting become things of the past and construction and finance of affordable houses using chapter technology and making mortgages available to all people and not the privileged few becomes the order of the day in Sierra Leone. This statement was repeated in his Excellency’s address to parliament. News is that HFC is encouraging people with uncompleted structures to apply for there lone completion mortgage to complete there uncompleted structure.

With a pilot phase of affordable housing schemes at Hamilton initiated by HFC thereby encouraging purchasers to buy the houses off plan, HFC mortgages have been made available to all manners of people, of income earning groups ranging from clerical workers, Police officers, small business owners, lawyers, accountants, lecturers, resident Sierra Leoneans and Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora. In line with best practices in corporate government, HFC have transcribed its mission and vision into a 5 year strategic plans to take off from January 2010.

The plan within the five years will guide the company to the ultimate, a fully fledged mortgage bank with subsidiaries providing services to complement mortgages. HFC will start the plan with a micro mortgage unit early 2010 as a prelude to the establishment of a micro mortgage subsidiary to take care of the small business owners, petty traders, taxi and poda-poda drivers and the other informal sectors of the economy. The company therefore ended the managing director Kofi Agyenim Boateng that it was not unexpected for a start up especially in service industry highly driven by technology but assure all that this is not going to be the friend as there is a light at the end of the tunnel.      

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