The Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development, Premila Kumar announced that the Government is looking at more housing projects to be undertaken considering the increased demand in the sector.
“As another initiative towards assisting in affordable homeownership, the Government engaged the services of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to assist in the design and implementation of housing Projects through Strata Titles,” Minister Kumar said.
“The six sites are Davuilevu, Nepani, Wainibuku, Raiwaqa, Tavakubu, and Tavua in the Central and Western divisions. The sites have been selected for the due diligence to develop green and climate-resilient housing units for low-middle income households in Fiji with private sector participation. The 2019/2020 budget also offered several tax concessions to encourage the private sector to invest in residential housing.”
The Minister said this while officiating at the Consumer Council of Fiji Panel Discussion in Suva this morning.
Minister Kumar said the engagement of the private sector and NGOs will also improve the efficiency leading to the overall affordability of housing.
“A good example of this partnership is the Koroipita model town in Lautoka.”
Minister Kumar made these comments at a workshop on Public Perception on Quality and affordability in the housing sector in Fiji.
The Minister also commented on the rent issue with regards to the freeze in the country.
“In order to enable Fijians, who want to rent houses, there is a rental freeze on residential properties. However, this isn’t a long-term solution which is why the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Tourism is working closely with all the relevant stakeholders to develop a Landlords and Tenancy legislation. This legislation will provide a set the obligations and provide protection to both the landlords and tenants,” she said.
“With specific legislation, we will create a level playing field and provide consumers an avenue for redress of complaints.”
“On the subject of Real Estate, the Real Estate Agents Licensing Board is working closely with the real estate agents to increase the level of compliance with the Real Estate Agents Act 2006 and to ensure that consumers are protected.”
The minister added that “the housing sector is vital for any growing economy and we need to ensure it is affordable and quality housing available to all citizens of Fiji”.
“We need to deliberate with open minds and critically analyze the key issues of concern and take a holistic approach to provide solutions.”