The Urban Development Authority (UDA) is issuing debentures worth Rs.25 billion to raise funds through state banks to finance a large- scale middle income housing scheme, a senior official said this week. Nimal Perera, Secretary to the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing, said that the first instalment of Rs. 5 billion of this debenture [...]

Business Times

UDA launches debenture issue worth Rs.25 bn

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Mr. Nimal Perera

The Urban Development Authority (UDA) is issuing debentures worth Rs.25 billion to raise funds through state banks to finance a large- scale middle income housing scheme, a senior official said this week.

Nimal Perera, Secretary to the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing, said that the first instalment of Rs. 5 billion of this debenture issue is expected to be received sometime around next week. 5000 of these houses will be built in Colombo, Kandy and Anuradhapura and offered at up to Rs. 10 million for a 2-bed room apartment at a loan interest of 6.2 per cent interest with the repayment period at 30 years at Rs.37,000 per month.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Business Times which also dealt in detail with the present regime’s housing and development programme in 2010-2015, Mr. Perera said the government-owned investment entity Selendiva will soon invite offers (in April) to fully or partly own three units – Hilton Hotel, GOH (Grand Oriental Hotel) and Grand Hyatt (in which the cost of construction has been reduced to Rs.48 billion from the original estimate of Rs.60 billion). In the case of the 9-acre Chalmers Granaries, proposals will be invited for a mixed development which can be the entire area or in parts. There are many new projects to be completed by end of 2024 in which the UDA will build 35,000 housing units in both categories – low income, mid-and upper income categories. For houses for underprivileged communities, it would cost Rs.1 million per unit to be repaid over 30 years at Rs. 3000 per month.

Mr. Perera said there are 900 acres occupied by unauthorized persons in fashionable parts of Colombo including Rosmead Place and Barnes Place. “We have cleared this land and some parts would be kept for commercial development and use this money to build housing units in other parts. This area also includes 150 acres for reservation, parks, environment,” he added.

Another area of development is the Summit Flats which houses government servants in Colombo which is in a bad shape. Plans are underway to build 400 new housing units at this location while those already staying there would be relocated to rented premises in the same area.

Under rural housing, there are plans to construct 70,000 houses while in the estate plantation sector plans are underway, with Indian Government support, to build 10,000 housing units.

Many other projects, he said, were being developed in Kandy, Anuradhapura, Nuwara Eliya and Galle. In Nuwara Eliya, the race course is being redeveloped and 50 Scottish-styled villas are being built on Oakley Estate while the Dunn bungalow there would be developed into a museum or clubhouse.

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