Problems resolved, Ban Munkhong Khao Noi speeds on with construction

Friday, 20 June 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 25 By  Surasak Huasoon

Its administrative and funding problems now history, the Ban Munkhong Khao Noi low-income housing project is moving into the second phase of construction and already is making happy homeowners of the Pattaya-area’s poor.

Deputy Mayor Wutisak Rermkitkarn toured the 12-rai development near the eastern railroad tracks June 6. Cooperative President Vinai Mukdasanit showed the deputy mayor homes finished during Phase 1 and areas where workers will be building homes in the second and third phases.

Construction is back underway for phase 2 of the Ban Munkhong Khao Noi low-income housing project.Construction is back underway for phase 2 of the Ban Munkhong Khao Noi low-income housing project.

Ban Munkhong is a 100 million baht pilot partnership between the city and the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. The ministry announced in 2011 it would allocate 37.8 million baht to fund 4 percent home loans and 46.7 million baht for construction of 290 homes over 15 years. Pattaya earmarked a contribution of another 15.2 million baht to support the program.

Residents seeking permanent homes in the Nernrodfai and Khao Noi neighborhoods had been squatters on state property before they were evicted. They see Ban Munkhong as their chance to own their own homes for the first time.

Tailor Samnao Daengphad, 53, said she and her family previously lived in a rental room. The monthly rent, electricity and water bill was 4,500 baht per month. In his new house, however, the expenses are smaller and he and his family are very happy.

Happiness was not easily achieved. The Khao Noi project faced a number of obstacles, including suspended funding and legal issues over mortgages. The area didn’t even have electric power until July 2012. But now it’s just a matter of how fast the houses can go up.

Phase 1 has 99 households. Phase 2 calls for 79 homes and the epic Phase 3 will see the construction of 290 homes and supporting businesses. Rain and flooding have delayed construction repeatedly, but Wutisak called progress “satisfactory” and said that all the houses will be finished by 2016.

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