NATION

Housing Authority Needs Time To Clear Customers’ Enquiries

About 100 people attended. Two similar public meetings were held in the Western Division last week.
04 Sep 2020 11:49
Housing Authority Needs Time To Clear Customers’ Enquiries
Roney Roy, 48, with a copy of the offer letter he claims was given to him for a piece of land in the Tacirua Subdivision (left) and Members of the public at the Housing Authority Public Inquiry Consultation at Rishikul Sanatan College on September 1, 2020 (right). Photo: Inoke Rabonu

Housing Authority (HA) chief executive officer Robert Sen says the authority needs time to meet the escalating number of enquiries regarding housing nationwide.

He made the statement during HA’s first public inquiry consultation in the Central Division; this was held at the Rishikul Sanatan College in Nasinu on Tuesday night, September 1.

About 100 people attended. Two similar public meetings were held in the Western Division last week.

A lot of customer service inconsistencies were raised by concerned members with some unsolved issues dating back 10 to 15 years.

“In terms of supply and demand for our customers to wait for more than 20 years, yes we have failed and this is an opportune time for us to look into these issues and how we can do better,” Mr Sen said.

“The influx of people moving to Suva has increased the demand for housing lots.

“We are working hard to increase the supply of developed lots to meet the demand.”

COMPLAINTS:

Father of three Roney Roy, of Makoi in Nasinu, had applied for a lot with HA in 2006 and in 2016 was asked to pay a deposit and loan application fee of $175.

“I had paid the deposit in 2017 and they gave me the receipt and the offer letter. The application cost another $75 which I had paid for as well, so I paid a total of $175 to the Housing Authority,” Mr Roy said.

“Three months later when I went to check with them I was told that my application was on hold because my eligibility was low.

Roney Roy, 48, with a copy of the offer letter he claims was given to him for a piece of land in the Tacirua Subdivision. Photo: Inoke Rabonu

Roney Roy, 48, with a copy of the offer letter he claims was given to him for a piece of land in the Tacirua Subdivision. Photo: Inoke Rabonu

“I am a taxi driver, one day when I went to drop a job in Tacirua; I saw that there was a house built on the lot that I was promised.

“I went to see HA sales manager at that time and he told me that it was still on hold; I told him that a house has been built there. He was unaware.”

“They have been continually telling me that the land is on hold. This is unfair treatment.”

Another concerned complainant Subhag Wati said she had been waiting for more than 15 years to get a response regarding her application for a housing lot.

After checking and following up for quite some time she has now given up on owning a property.

HOUSING AUTHORITY CEO

Mr Sen said claims of inconsistencies had always existed for the authority since he joined, and they were now looking into the complaints file by file.

“I need to look case by case on what the customers have paid; this is to clarify whether it is for loan application fees or an application fees,” he said.

“My teams have written down the names of all customers who have complained today (Tuesday) with regards to issues on the paying of fees to HA and we will see where the issues lie.

“There are a couple of scenarios where people have had to wait for more than 10 to 20 years; we are going to looking into them.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj



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