SUNBIZ

Analysis On Government Home Grant

In his review of the First Time Home Buyers grant process over the past four years, Director Housing Kolinio Bola said with all the application received by the committee, 99.99
13 May 2017 10:35
Analysis On Government Home Grant
Ofa Solimailagi, Senior Legal officer, Solicitor General's office while speaking at during 1st home buyers grants forum 2017 at Holiday Inn on May 10th, 2017. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

In his review of the First Time Home Buyers grant process over the past four years, Director Housing Kolinio Bola said with all the application received by the committee, 99.99 per cent of the applications were approved with one per cent being returned back to the respective commercial banks for clarification.

He was presenting his analysis of the grant process during the First Time Home Buyers Grant forum at the Holiday Inn, Suva on Wednesday.

“Since the inception of the programme in 2014, within the last four years the Government gave $10 million and out of this $1.47 million was expanded, thus, assisting 180 first home buyers,” Mr Bola said.

“Out of this 180 first home buyers, 66 customers purchased readily built homes, with a total grant of $333,000 and the remaining 114 first home buyers purchased residential lease and also constructed their first home with a total grant sum of $1.41m.

“Note that our rate of utilisation is quite low. As noted in the Auditor-General’s report, our utilisation at that time was only 14.7 per cent, with a processing cycle of four months.

“During 2014, we were only working with a four months processing cycle, because it is one quarter of the year, so if you multiply that by three, we could have processed three times more than the amount we could have assisted.  Correspondingly, the amount of grant that we could have given would also triple.”

In 2015, the Government allocated $6.69m of which $2.68m was utilised by the Ministry of Local Government, Housing and Environment to assist more than 374 first home buyers, Mr Bola said.

Of the 374 first home buyers, 192 customers purchased their readily built homes, with a total grant of $960,000  and the remaining 162 housing customers were assisted through the purchase of residential leases and construction of their first home with a total grant of $1.7m, he added.

“So if you correlate that to the budget allocation in relation to the utilisation, we’re running at 40 per cent utilisation for one year processing cycle. So the number of people assisted, the percentage of utilisation also increased.”

In 2016 a drop in utilitsation was noted.

“For 2016, $4m was allocated, of this $1.195m was expanded. This assisted 159 fist home buyers. Of this 159, 79 customers were assisted to build their readily built homes, with a total grant of $395,000.

“The remaining 80 customers were assisted to purchase their residential leases and to construct their first home with a total grant of 20,000.

“In terms of our analysis, this is a 30 per cent budget utilisation, with a six months cycle. The figure has gone down.”

For 2017, a grant of $10m was allocated by Government.

“We’ve wired about $3.2m to assist one of our programmes, the Lagilagi project, and the rest $6.8m, revised budget we’ve expanded as of today $2.84m.

“The money expanded has increased, with 118 first home buyers assisted just for this quarter, so if you project it for the whole financial year, the amount will increase so as the budget utilisation,” he said.



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