President Tommy Remengesau Jr. in a letter to National Development Bank of Palau’s President Claire Harvey, urged the bank to disburse the funds for housing loan.
“This $15 million is for spending, not for saving,” he said of the $15 million low interest loan to address Palau’s housing crisis.
“Our Republic is in a housing crisis. Too many families have been displaced from their homes and land with little warning, and too many homes are threatened by climate change,” he added.
“To get this money out and to get housing stock built quickly, NDBP may have to adjust its lending practices. You may have to develop more flexible policies, especially when it comes to collateral and you have to accept more risk in your lending decisions.”
Remengesau acknowledged that there are issues with land availability that may be slowing the process but he also said that another issue was credit. “The lack of affordable, accessible credit is the reason our Republic sought a $15 million housing loan from the Republic of China (Taiwan) and it is the reason we entrusted that money to NDBP and Palau Housing.”
He urged the bank to lend out the money and said that if the bank needed capital, other assistance or change in legislation, the government will facilitate them but “for your part, we need this money lent out and need more housing going up around Palau.”