Minister answers S.H.C. critics
M.P.M.C. - Samoa Housing Corporation’s, (S.H.C.) Minister Lautafi Fio Seilafi Purcell does not agree with claims that the Corporation is defeating its purpose to provide low interest rate loans for residents to build new homes.
The Corporation came under scrutiny in parliament with accusations that it was charging high interest rates of 17% to its clients compared to commercial banks rates of 8% for home loans.
“The Public Accounts Committee has addressed this concern and rest assured when I say that the Housing Corporation is not imposing any unauthorized interest rates other than those mandated by law,” reiterated Lautafi in Parliament.
“The rates mentioned are for unsecured loans and the Corporation is operating per its mandate to provide affordable loans for families wanting to build new homes.”
As evidence of the S.H.C.’s success, the Minister pointed to the recent Merit Award accorded to the Corporation by the Association of Development Financing Institution in Asia and the Pacific (A.D.F.I.A.P.) during their 40th Annual Meeting held in China recently.
“The award speaks volumes for our Housing Corporation,” he said.
“It reaffirms that S.H.C. has contributed immensely in providing affordable financing to our low income families to build a new homes.”
The award recognizes consistent exercise of corporate social responsibility; in relation to the Corporation’s HAS Build Project II which has improved many lives of many people in Samoa.
The award also recognizes S.H.C.’s partnership with Habitat New Zealand and A.D.R.A. Samoa to build resilient homes for people who are in need.
The Habitat Build Project is a venture between S.H.C, Adventist Development and Relief Agency (A.D.R.A.) and Habitat for Humanity, New Zealand.
The project aims to provide better, stronger homes, which are better able to withstand natural disasters.
A.D.R.A. Samoa and Habitat New Zealand provide the labor while S.H.C. provide financing to build the new homes with the Corporation at risk but the Corporation “considers the risk as secondary as their primary target is to help our people who are in need,” says the Minister.
SHC’s Chief Executive Officer is Mata’utia Rula Levi and during her tenure for more than a decade, the Corporation has issued home loans valued at almost $40 million tala.