Housing Legislation to Change the Game
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.