Hous­ing Leg­is­la­tion to Change the Game

Fiji Sun - - NATION - SHALVEEN CHAND Edited by Jonathan Bryce Feed­back: shalveen.chand@fi­jisun.com.fj

Leg­is­la­tion will soon be put be­fore Cabi­net to le­galise the hous­ing sec­tor and set out rules to gov­ern how houses are to be built, al­lot­ment of lots and give power to the min­istries re­spon­si­ble.

Min­is­ter for Hous­ing and Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment Premila Ku­mar

said the New Zealand Gov­ern­ment pro­vided Fiji with a hous­ing ad­vi­sor, who was work­ing with the team here.

“There was no le­gal frame­work to re­ally guide hous­ing both for­mal and in­for­mal. There was a lot of reliance on town and coun­try plan­ning, then there were other poli­cies that were not le­galised, but it was en­dorsed through Cabi­net where the pol­icy could be used for al­lot­ment,” she said.

Ms Ku­mar high­lighted that due to the lack of such leg­is­la­tion, there was a rapid rise in in­for­mal or squat­ter set­tle­ments. She said now with the Gov­ern­ment’s in­tent to for­malise the in­for­mal hous­ing set­tle­ments, ques­tions on giv­ing lots have been raised.

She said a lot of ground work in­clud­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions and sur­veys was done.

“Not ev­ery­one is poor, not ev­ery­one is earn­ing less than $30,000 in in­for­mal set­tle­ments. We found that a fam­ily in Nabua was earn­ing $100,000,” she said.

“Do they even qual­ify for a lot of Gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies.”

Ms Ku­mar said above all the leg­is­la­tion would have some teeth.

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