NEWS

REALB Chair: How People Can Help Solve Housing Problems

‘If they had moved out of those flats, then it would have made room for other low-income earners to move in’
19 Sep 2019 12:22
REALB Chair: How People Can Help Solve Housing Problems
The Public Rental Board flats on Nairai Road in Raiwai. Photo: Ronald Kumar

People who live in flats meant for low-income earners should move out after a few years when their household income increases.

This is the view of the Real Estate Agents Licensing Board chairperson, Abdul Hassan, who believes this will solve the housing problem in the country to some extent.

“When these people moved into housing flats meant for low-income earners and others, they may have had low income,” he said.

“But as other members of the family started working and the household income increased, they should have just moved out of those flats.

“If they had moved out of those flats, then it would have made room for other low-income earners to move in and stay for a few years and move on.”

Mr Hassan said he was aware that some people were staying in such flats for years.

He said the policy by the relevant authorities for such flats for low-income earners should be stringent.

Survey to determine household income

“The respective organisations should carry out a survey and find out for how long the families are staying there, how much is their household income and whether they qualify to stay there longer or not,” he said.

Also, he said, people who paid goodwill to some landowners and got land to build houses and paid annual rental had no form of security.

“While it may be good for them to have a place to build a house, the question that arises is of safety and security,” he said.

“They can’t get loans from banks because they don’t have any proper documents to say that the land belongs to them.

“There is also no proper building plan for the houses they construct.”

Mr Hassan, who did his PhD on Sustainable Housing in Fiji, said Government should declare certain places in the country as low-cost housing areas.

He also said there should be bulk buying of building materials for the construction of low-cost housing facilities in the country.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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