NEWS

‘Housing Help Available For Loan Clients’

More than 1600 households are occupying Public Rental Board (PRB) flats and 832 households are being assisted by the Housing Assistance Relief Trust (HART), Premila Kumar said.
27 May 2020 14:29
‘Housing Help Available For Loan Clients’
Lagilagi housing at Raiwaqa, Suva.

More than 1600 households are occupying Public Rental Board (PRB) flats and 832 households are being assisted by the Housing Assistance Relief Trust (HART), Premila Kumar said.

The Minister for Housing was responding to a parliamentary question asked by Dr Salik Govind on COVID-19 housing relief provided by the Housing Authority of Fiji, PRB and the HART.

Ms Kumar said COVID-19 response relief packages were announced in March and April following the diagnosis of Fiji’s first COVID-19 case.

She said Housing Authority had over 2700 loan clients, who would be assisted if they were laid off work, had their work hours cut, put on leave without pay and closure of small and medium businesses for those who were self-employed.

Affected customers can access relief schemes prescribed by Section 66 of the Consumer Credit Act, which allows for repayment holidays, extension of loan terms for a period of up to six months, interest only repayments, extension of loan terms and reduction of repayment amount.

“As at May 22, 2020, 277 applications were received and 205 applications have been approved, 14 applications were declined and another 58 applications is being reviewed,” Ms Kumar said.

“PRB is offering rent deferment for three months. At the end of rent deferment period or when the tenants are in a position to pay rent, they will enter into an agreement on the repayment of the deferred rent.

“This will be based on the household income and level of disposable income. In the meantime, tenants who can afford to pay the weekly rent will continue to pay.”

Eviction notices issued by PRB has also been put on hold.

“A total of 184 applications were received out of which a total of 33 applications have been approved so far. Others are yet to submit declarations on income.”

She said housing institutions were thoroughly screening applications to ensure there was no misuse of relief initiatives.

“The rent payment for all HART residents have been put on hold from March 20 and will continue to be so, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj


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