By Sarah Byrne

TEAMING up to provide permanent accommodation in Port Moresby are landowner company Anitua Group and Australia-based Amode in establishing a 50/50 joint venture, Amode RCS PNG.Together the groups will develop an affordable housing project called Amode 7 Mile Housing Estate, which they said would be the launchpad for similar projects located around Papua New Guinea.

Speaking to PNG Resources, Amode managing director Joe Webb said Amode RCS PNG will provide an integrated delivery model of a compliant housing solution to service the current demands for quality affordable housing in Port Moresby.

“This development is targeting locals in the middle to upper level management levels of the public and private sectors.”

Amode RCS PNG secured development rights over residential land at 7 Mile Port Moresby, providing the company with access to State Lease Titled Land to provide house and land packages servicing the affordable housing market.

Stage one of the 7 Mile Housing Estate development is currently under construction with around 40 houses already built, Mr Webb said.

Located close to the Hubert Murray highway, Amode 7 Mile residents will be minutes away from Vision City shopping centre, schools and the central business district.

Amode 7 Mile Estate sales and marketing general manager Phil Arcadiou said the affordability and quality of the homes under construction was exciting the property market, as well as the location.

The majority of the estate will comprise high set three bedroom homes for K440,000 and four bedroom homes for K499,990.

Banking institution BSP is offering buyers the option to borrow K400,000 at four per cent interest as part of its first home owners scheme.

Two compounds have already been built in the estate which include two and three bedroom homes and can be leased by companies for employees.

Built to Australian standards by Anitua Constructions, the homes have been constructed with steel, aluminium and fibre cement.

Secured with a 24/7 security presence on site, the Amode 7 Mile Estate will also include a pool, picnic area and supermarket.

7 Mile Housing project aims to set a precedent in relation to price, quality and lifestyle.

Mr Webb said the project hopes to achieve this through having the right mix of quality people, products and a common drive to provide better quality housing for the local market.

Amode RCS PNG is a pathway to other projects across PNG, with Mr Webb saying the project demonstrates to the market the investment commitment into affordable housing by the group.

Affordability is a major concern for proponents of the project. Image courtesy Amode RCS PNG.

Affordability is a major concern for proponents of the project. Image courtesy Amode RCS PNG.

“More importantly we want the PNG market to walk into this estate, see the quality of lifestyle at an affordable price and drive future projects in other areas in Port Moresby and across the country.”

With a long-term goal of providing affordable housing to all PNG people, Mr Webb said the project is only the tip of the iceberg with regards to increasing the standard of living in PNG.

Port Moresby’s housing crisis is due to a lack of supply and increasing demand from the rise of a PNG middle class, according to Mr Webb who said although the resources boom played a role, there were many factors resulting in an unaffordable housing market.

Although the company’s current focus is on successful completion of stage one of the project, Amode RCS PNG is also looking at leveraging Amode’s product capability in education, warehouses, commercial and other building solutions with Anitua’s networks and construction capabilities.

Amode has also been developing a renewable energy capability within the group.

“We have set up display within our stage one project including solar power, solar hot water, wind turbine. Biogas and a grey water treatment pond.”

“This enables the integration of housing/education projects with renewable energy solution to service the broader PNG market,” he said.

Mr Webb said what attracted him to work with Anitua and establish Amode RCS PNG is the quality people working at Anitua from the top down, as well as the company’s network, construction capabilities, and proven ability to grow business in PNG.

Anitua executive director Colin Vale said he was excited to see the Anitua Group expand into the Port Moresby real estate business.

“It is also rewarding to know that as a 100% PNG owned company we are helping PNG people fulfil their dream of home ownership by providing affordable and high quality family homes,” Mr Vale said.

Anitua was founded by a group of Lihirian landowners in 1989 and provides a series of investment and job opportunities for the inhabitants of the island.