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Informal settlers not allowed to profiteer from subsidized lots

November 23, 2020 6:07 am
Housing Minister Premila Kumar

Fijians living in informal settlements who will soon be receiving their 99-year leases will not be allowed to profiteer from the subsidized lots.

Housing Minister Premila Kumar reveals there have been several cases where people who were given subsidized lots have either sold the property, the land is still vacant and in some cases rented out.

These subsidized lots were meant to assist low-income earners, however, some have abused the assistance for their personal gain.

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Kumar says questions are now being raised on whether some Fijians living in informal settlements deserve subsidized lots.

“If you go out in an informal settlement you will also come across people who are running their business. They are running garages, they are running shops, and they have got trucking businesses. Should we be providing them with a subsidized lot? If someone can afford to buy one why the government should be subsidizing them? That is taxpayers’ money”.

She says based on a thorough investigation, the Housing Ministry is now working on a draft policy to tighten procedures for informal settlement lot allocation.

“We intend to provide a bigger subsidy to those households who are I would say their income level is much lower as compared to those whose income level is higher and then as your income bracket or income level increases say up to $50,000 subsidy level will decrease”.

The Minister says those households earning below $10,000 a year will get a 90 percent subsidy on the market value whereas those earning $50,000 and above will have to pay the full market price if they wish to own the lot they are currently living in.

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