NATION

Housing Assistance Relief Trust (HART) To Carry Out Assessment On Eligibility

HART chief executive officer Paserio Furivai said their last assessment was done two years ago.
26 Sep 2019 16:10
Housing Assistance Relief Trust (HART) To Carry Out Assessment On Eligibility
People earning $150 or less a week are eligible to live in a HART home.

The Housing Assistance Relief Trust (HART) will carry out an assessment to ascertain whether families are still eligible to live in their homes around the country.

HART chief executive officer Paserio Furivai said their last assessment was done two years ago.

“We are getting ready for another assessment. We have 850 families living in HART homes in the country and our review process takes one to two years,” he said.

“We want to see whether they are within the criteria to occupy the flats.

“According to my information and knowledge, none of the HART residents own cars or have Sky TV.

“We evaluate and if the residents have access to those things, then it’s abuse.”

M Furivai said people earning $150 or less a week were eligible to live in a HART home.

He said people applying for a HART home had to fill an agreement form and make a declaration that whatever information they were giving was true and honest.

Additionally, the prior assessment was also done by HART, which is run by the Fiji Council of Churches with the support of the Government.

“We look at the number of family members, how many children are in school, earning per week then we go to where they live and speak to the family members.

“People applying for HART homes are from all religious backgrounds and if anyone has a close affiliation to any church group, then we check with the pastor.

“Though we go through a rigid system, there are some loopholes. But if we find out later on that what they say is not true, then we evict them immediately.”

Eligibility

Mr Furivai said the high priority group who qualify for HART homes were single mothers with children and elderly citizens who were neglected by their children.

But, he said, elderly couples not wanted by their children had less chance to get a HART home compared to a mother and her children.

He said residents who had an increase in their weekly income were asked to move out and make room for others in need of a home.

“While we do not take the whole assessment, we look at individuals and ask them to move on.

“There have been cases where families have been asked to move out to make room for others.

“Out of the 850 families that we have at HART homes in Suva, Lautoka, Nadi, Ba, Rakiraki, Labasa and Nausori, 98 per cent are single mothers and their children.

“We have some couples occupying the homes but they are there as emergency cases. We also have a nursing home in Valelevu to care for the elderly and we are reluctant to bring in an individual resident.”

Mr Furivai said HART also had elections for each “village” which has a turaga ni koro or marama ni koro.

“We have working committees in each village which meet every month and if any resident has an increase in the weekly income, then the village head informs us.”

He said the weekly rent for families living in HART homes ranged from $1 to $10 depending on the earning power and structure of each family.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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