NEWS

Residents Cannot Sell Property Or House In Informal Settlements

A house for sale has been advertised at Sasawira squatter settlement in Nausori on social media.
02 Jul 2019 14:43
Residents Cannot Sell Property Or House In Informal Settlements
The squatter settlement at Jittu Estate on January 31, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua

Residents of squatter settlements cannot sell houses and properties they are living in, says Minister for Housing Premila Kumar.

She said there was a demand for housing and people were buying houses, even if it was in the squatter settlements.

A house for sale has been advertised at Sasawira squatter settlement in Nausori on social media.

Mrs Kumar said people must be made aware of these things.

“Anyone living in a squatter settlement does not have a title, or a lease over the land, nothing is theirs, how can they sell anything?” Mrs Kumar said.

“This is where the public must understand, that even though they are paying some money to occupy that space, but the land still does not belong to the seller.

“The other thing to consider is that without the title and other documents, one cannot get the funding if the buyer is going through a financial institution such as a bank.”

Mrs Kumar said the demand for housing would increase because Government estimated that two-thirds of Fiji’s population would stay in urban centres in the next 10 years.

She said Fiji was the most urbanised state in Melanesia, where 55 per cent of the population lived in urban areas.

The Fiji Sun has found that people have not only sold houses in informal settlements, but also have houses for rent.

Mrs Kumar said these were the types of issues that had been brought to their attention and Government’s initiative towards better housing would provide some solution.

Over the past five years, Government upgraded five informal settlements. Mrs Kumar said this led to more than 400 households receiving land titles.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj

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