NEWS

More Than 5000 Expression Of Interest Applications

Housing Authority is working closely with land­owners and the iTaukei Land Trust Board in se­curing land and controlling head-leases.
15 Sep 2019 10:58
More Than 5000 Expression Of Interest Applications

Housing Authority of Fiji has more than 5000 expression of interest applications on its list. Authority board chairman Nes­bitt Hazelman said those who had applied had to fit into certain categories earning less than $50,000 per annum.

He said when someone goes and talks to the au­thority, it does not guarantee you land.

“You’ve just expressed an interest because there’s so many people who want land and the supplies are not there,” he said.

Mr Hazelman said they faced challenges in up­dating the financial status of customers who had expressed their interests and getting them to respond. He said updating of data was done efficiently and in a timely manner. The author­ity updates its data on a daily basis.

Mr Hazelman said they aim to offer 1000 lots per annum.

Securing land:

Housing Authority is working closely with land­owners and the iTaukei Land Trust Board in se­curing land and controlling head-leases.

Mr Hazelman said securing of head-leases would enable them to do more with the properties.

There had been talks about the Housing Au­thority’s properties being bought at a reasonable price and are sold off at an exorbitant price.

Mr Hazelman said in such situations, if the au­thority did not hold the head-lease, then it would not be able to do anything, as “it’s a willing seller willing buyer” arrangement.

Complaints:

Mr Hazelman said the authority had received a number of complaints and they had systems in place to ensure everyone got the same and fair treatment. The authority has a system where all complaints are received, registered and elevated.

Access to land

Access to land was a big issue in Fiji, Mr Hazel­man said.

“We need to really go out there and look for land,” he said. A team is dedicated to go out and discuss with landowners and stakeholders in­cluding Electricity Fiji Limited, Fiji Roads Au­thority, Water Authority of Fiji and others on ac­cessing of land.

He said a 200 acre of land at Veikoba in Valelevu was still in its planning process, once all plans were in place, the authority would offer it to the people.

Moving towards Navua

Mr Hazelman said now that the Suva to Nausori corridor were full, the board was looking at mov­ing towards developing lands in Navua, this was demand driven. The authority has also opened up areas in Lautoka and Tavua upon the demand.

“At the same time, we need to ensure it’s afford­able,” he said. Housing Authority is also in part­nership with the International Finance Corpora­tion (IFC) to provide decent and affordable homes to the Fijian people.

Permanent Secretary for Fisheries and Hous­ing Authority’s deputy chairman Craig Strong said the Fijian Government had a strong focus on proving affordable housing which was also a mandate for the authority.

Edited by Susana Tuilau

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