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Housing Issues Top Agenda At Stakeholder Workshop

An expert was in the country yesterday helping local policy makers understand measures taken by Australia to tackle its housing issues. Professor George Earl, chief executive officer of the Sustainable
22 Jun 2018 15:13
Housing Issues Top Agenda At Stakeholder Workshop
Participants at the housing affordability workshop at the Reserve Bank of Fiji in Suva on June 21, 2018. Photo: Sheldon Chanel

An expert was in the country yesterday helping local policy makers understand measures taken by Australia to tackle its housing issues.

Professor George Earl, chief executive officer of the Sustainable Living Infrastructure Consortium (SLIC), presented on Australian housing at a workshop in Suva, making comparisons to situations in Fiji.

Mr Earl was key convenor at the housing affordability workshop at the Reserve Bank of Fiji, which attracted various stakeholders from across the sector.

The professor presented on concepts such as BuyAssist-Share, Equity Home Ownership, Build-to-Rent, Personal Housing Plans, 1st Home Ownership Education Training and more.

The deliberations came as demand and pricing for houses in the country rise, as seen in statistics released by the Fiji Bureau of statistics.

About 55.9 per cent of Fiji’s population reside in urban areas which is a growth of little more than 16 per cent from 2007, according to the 2017 Population and Housing Census.

Strong housing, Mr Earl said, could fuel a strong economy.

Other speakers at the workshop included director housing from the Ministry of Housing Kolinio Bola, acting general manger of Housing Authority Isikeli Navuda, ANZ Fiji country head Saud Minam and deputy RBF governor Esala Masitabua.

Joining them was Parmendra Sharma, a Griffith University lecturer and researcher.

Mr Masitabua said the central bank was working with the Government to provide affordable housing services, especially to low-income earners.

He said housing affordability was a global challenge that every nation faced, saying a collaborative approach between the public and private sector in Fiji could ease the problem.

RBF hosted the workshop in collaboration with Australia-based Griffith University.

The university supports and mentors RBF fellows in their research of topics like interest rate pass through in Fiji, finance and socio-economic development in Fiji, re-assessing Fiji’s core inflation measures and financial intergration in the South Pacific.

Feedback:  sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj



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