NEWS

ANALYSIS: Hope For First Home

In the next financial year, expect Government policies focussing on providing affordable housing options for youth and first-time home owners. Government has put emphasis on empowering Fijians, in particular empowering
31 May 2016 10:21
ANALYSIS: Hope For First Home

In the next financial year, expect Government policies focussing on providing affordable housing options for youth and first-time home owners.

Government has put emphasis on empowering Fijians, in particular empowering youth to become home owners.

During the first Budget consultations which were held in Lautoka, Attorney-General and Finance Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum spoke at length once again about the need for young people not to wait till they are in their 40s to be able to afford their first homes.

And, Government is firm to provide the first step through the door for possible homeowners.

More than 70 per cent of our population are below 40 years of age.

Government recognises the need to provide opportunities to them to own homes. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum has spoken several times about the need for youth to move towards owning homes. This would no doubt encourage saving. Owning a house would mean having the ability to use the house as collateral for any loans from commercial banks at cheaper interest rates.

Sadly, the commercial banks have not been so supportive of young people wanting to own their homes.

Even the Reserve Bank of Fiji has done next to nothing to facilitate any attempts to put together packages for the young working class. For decades RBF did not have a regulatory regime that required banks to focus on things like increased home ownership and access to cheap finance for homes.

But, this is set to change. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum has already met with the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji Barry Whiteside and discussed how affordable finance can be made available for youth and other Fijians to own their own homes.

RBF for decades did not require insurance companies to provide services to cater for all Fijians and not just the wealthy.

The Attorney-General and Minister for Finance has in recent times been highlighting as to how the insurance companies should have played a greater role and provided key services for all Fijians.

One other thing that Government is turning its focus on is moving away from having sectionalised housing.

There is very a strong indication that Government wants to do away with the mindset that some areas are where the rich live while other areas are for middle-class and not so rich to own homes.

It is believed that Mr Sayed-Khaiyum and his team are looking at the Singapore model of house ownership. This will in the real sense level the playing field in home ownership.

There is also very strong indication that Government will streamline policies from different ministries to facilitate home ownership for the youth.

This is youth empowerment in real sense.

Affordable housing is a right, but it needed strong political will to really make a difference for the largest percentage of Fijian population. Once again, sadly, this had been missing for decades.

The working class who are below the age of 40 have had to turn to money lenders when need arose. Simply because they did not have a collateral to offer to the banks.

This is all set to change. The Finance Minister is serious about ensuring youth can afford their own homes.

And, to counter any arguments which may arise about lack of housing options, Government has already pushed for new residential blocks to be built in strata-type apartment setting and are working on policies to allow those living in apartments to legally own it.

This in turn could be used as collateral as well.

This is one of the many policies that youth can expect in coming months.

 

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

Subscribe to E-Edition
pacific island top up
Air Nuigini
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: