The Fijian government yesterday wrote off three village housing schemes in the Northern Division through the Housing Authority o Fiji.
The move is seen asa major breakthrough for families who no longer have to pay off these loans.
Authority chairman Mosese Tikoitoga presented the official letters to the families and clans of those that are paying home loans in the Bua province.
The village housing scheme was introduced in the 1980s to provide a mechanism for adequate and decent housing for those that reside in the peri-urban and rural areas.
To date, that scheme has a portfolio of $9.4 million.
“Everything the board, management and staff the housing authority do is guided by Government direction and a vision for housing the nation,” Tikoitaga said in a statement.
“This assistance is in line with the National Housing Policy that aims to provide affordable, decent and quality housing for every Fijian by the year 2020.”
The Authority also announced the suspension of interest on the accounts for three other village housing schemes.
This will see financial burden lifted for families residing in the Sauniduna Housing Scheme in Nasaqa, Mataqali Buawaqa Housing scheme in Nubu village and the Vusakalou Housing Scheme from Mataniwai and Raranibulu village.
However the suspension on payment of interest on their accounts is for six months only.
Tikoitoga highlighted that while there is a strict criteria that needs to be met in order for home owners to have their loans written off, one of the benefit behind this is providing financial security for home owners.
This assistance follows though from the Peoples Charter for Change, Peace and Progress which seeks to empower indigenous land owners rights to access and lease native land, as well as to participate in commerce and entrepreneurship, as equals in Fiji’s emerging economy.
The village housing scheme accounts have been properly audited and certified correct for assistance in line with ensuring that this process is transparent and targets those village communities that most need.
In August this year, twelve village housing scheme accounts were written off in the Ba province and amounted to $915,000 of the total portfolio.
By Reginald Chandar