Public Rental Board owed $131,344.83
The Public Rental Board has accumulated a total of $131,344.83 rent arrears as of September this year, PRB acting general manager, Patrick Veu, has revealed. He made the revelation while presenting their 2013 and 2014 Annual Reports before the Standing Committee on Social Affairs in Parliament yesterday.
The report revealed that active tenants’ arrears amounted to $95,717.08 while vacated tenants’ arrears totalled $35,627.75. This means that 4.3 per cent of rental income was rental arrears. “We anticipate to reduce this to around three per cent come in December,” Mr Veu said. PRB manager finance and administration Ajay Kumar said their existing tenants were among some of the constraints faced by the PRB including funding. Committee member and Opposition MP Salote Radrodro questioned the strategies put in place by PRB to effectively manage the high rental arrears. Mr Veu said they had looked into getting all tenants on direct deductions instead of cash payments to contain the rental arrears. “We had wanted to get all our tenants on direct deduction but because of the need for housing, we had to relax it a bit so that those who can show us income can pay through cash payments which is something that is very difficult for our people to follow up,” he said. The PRB is working on several projects including the Kalabu Housing Project in Nasinu, the Naqere Housing Project in Savusavu, Simla Housing Project in Lautoka and the Namaka Housing Project in Nadi.
Meanwhile, a $15.3 million Votua, Korolevu, housing project is in the planning stage while works on the master plan is being done to the Raiwaqa ex-four storey building and sewerage sites.
Edited by Rusiate Mataika