MEDIA RELEASE: HOUSING AUTHORITY OF FIJI COVID-19 RELIEF PACKAGE ASSISTANCE EXTENSION
As the country continues to face the economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Housing Authority of Fiji (Authority) has approved an extension to its COVID-19 Relief package until 30th September 2021.
While making this announcement, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Community Development, Hon. Premila Kumar stated that the extension of the assistance will further compliment the Authority’s previously established relief package assistance for its customers whose income were severely impacted from the pandemic following the first COVID-19 case that was recorded in Fiji last year.
“Affected customers can apply for various options as prescribed under the Consumer Credit Act Section 66 under the clause “Changes on Grounds of Hardship” such as repayment holiday, extension of loan term, interest only repayment, extended loan terms and reduction in repayment amount.
“The wellbeing of our customers is of utmost priority and this decision has been made in order to provide relief to them especially for those who have lost their jobs, had to take reduced pay or worked fewer days in a week. The relief package is offered to only those customers affected by the current situation and will be assessed by the Authority on a case by case basis,” said Hon. Kumar.
The Hon. Minister added that in assisting Housing Authority customers impacted by the COVID 19 crisis, the Authority will provide the following on a case by case basis:
- Three months’ holiday on repayment of loan; or,
- Extension of the term of the loan without any fees; or,
- Repayment of interest only; or,
- A three-month holiday on the repayment of the loan with extension to the term of the loan.
Minister Kumar also highlighted that existing recipients need not re-apply, but if they intend to request further extensions, they have to submit proof of their recent employment status as per notices already issued to them by the Authority.
Application forms and details on how to apply is available on the Authority’s website www.housing.com.fj and applications need to be accompanied with:
(i) Letter from Employer signed by Human Resources Manager; and,
(ii) Latest Salary Slip; or,
(iii) Statutory Declaration if unemployed.
“The Housing Authority currently has over 2,500 active mortgage customers in the Authority’s mortgage portfolio and approximately another 10,000 customers are paying ground rent. Since this COVID-19 Relief package was announced in April last year, 497 customers have applied for assistance and a total of 422 customers have benefitted from this programme,” said Hon. Kumar.
Meanwhile, given the current pandemic, the Public Rental Board (PRB) has also reactivated its COVID-19 Relief to affected tenants for deferment of rent. Those tenants whose income has been currently affected due to the pandemic conditions can reach out to the PRB management for assistance.