The Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development has a budget allocation of $2.9 million to restore and revamp the rural housing assistance program.
Speaking in Parliament, Minister Responsible Sakiasi Ditoka outlined plans to have 10 established staff and 19 unestablished staff to oversee the program, which was first established by the Government in 1976 to provide affordable housing assistance to rural and maritime communities.
Ditoka also highlighted that the program was administered and implemented by the same Ministry until the 2018-2019 financial year, when it was moved to the Ministry of Housing and Community Development.
“The Government has now decided to return it to its original roots and reintroduce three schemes. Scheme one involves the procurement and cartage of housing materials, with applicants paying for building materials through a deposit into the Ministry’s trust account, while the government covers storage and cartage costs.”
He added that scheme two involves the construction of a 24-foot by 16-foot housing structure, with the applicant providing a one-third cash contribution towards the total cost of construction while the Ministry covers the remaining two-thirds.
“Scheme three involves the individual applying to provide one-third of the building materials themselves, with Fiji Pine and the Ministry of Forests assisting with timber and other structural materials.”