Public Rental Board was separated from the Housing Authority in 1989 due to World Bank recommendations. The Bank’s analysis revealed that there was a need for a body corporate to monitor the rental flats for the underprivileged tenants.
The Public Rental Board (PRB) was established on 16th May 1989 under the Housing (Amendment) Decree No 12 of 1989 which included 24 rental estates comprising 1,753 rental flats. The Housing (Amendment) decree is part of the Housing Act of 1955. The Board was established to provide affordable rental flats to low income earners on a transitional basis without incurring a loss. From its inception the Board has continually struggled to operate profitably on an annual basis after a negative asset of $11,322,000 was transferred into PRB books.
Under section 34 of the of the Housing (Amendment) Decree No 12 of 1989 the Board is primarily to operate on a non- commercial basis by inviting Government to make good the shortfall (where the assessed rental applicable to a tenancy represents a disproportionate percentage of earnings) by way of subsidy.
On 3rd April 1997, the Public Rental Board was declared a Commercial Statutory Authority under the Public Enterprises Act 1996. As a Commercial Statutory Authority, the Public Rental Board was required to operate along commercial lines and be profitable and efficient as comparable businesses that are not owned by the state.
The PRB operates under a predefined definition of their customer. It has emerged that there is a need to:
- Promote transitional housing under the National Housing Policy
- Re-assess customer profile and better determine the capacity to pay rent
- Determine precisely the subsidy amount required and distributed according to subsidy criteria
- Determine the true demand for public rental housing. This is a complex task and requires specialists to, at least, design the surveys and analyse the outcomes hence will take time to complete. This exercise may result in a shift in the definition for PRB from lower to middle income earners.
The PRB is owned by Government and managed by Board of Directors. The Board’s operations are undertaken by staff of Public Rental Board. Currently 1,554 rental flats are rented or available for renting at any given time from 20 rental estates. The organisation has continued to face shortfall in the supply of rental units especially in the greater Suva area.
The Board has three offices throughout Fiji. The Head Office is located at Housing Authority Building in Valelevu, Suva with 2 divisional offices in Lautoka and Labasa.
To be the leading provider of affordable, quality and appropriate rental properties for our customers
The Public Rental Board will achieve its vision through:
- Facilitating the development of affordable and quality rental housing to meet the socio economic needs of customers.
- Maintaining efficient and effective customer service to meet customer expectation.
- Maintaining and enhancing flats to Public Rental Board standards.
- Empowering customers through innovative public relations and community building.
- Providing cohesive communities while enhancing commercial openings that can be used to facilitate win – win opportunity for everyone.
- Undertaking profiling and analysis of existing and potential customers.
- Promoting Public Private Partnership (PPP) for innovative development and funding.
Quality Customer Service
- Our customers are foremost in our minds.
- We strive for the highest professional standards, delivering our products and services that satisfy our customers.
Duty of Care
- We respect each other and show concern for one another’s well-being.
- We have trust and confidence in one another’s ability.
- We value and appreciate each other as corporate citizens caring for the welfare of the community.
- We believe in lifelong learning.
- We upgrade our skills and knowledge so that we can give our best to PRB.
- We seek new and creative ideas to improve our products and services.
- We consciously implement productivity improvements in all areas of our work for a viable organisation.
- We believe in working as a team and helping each other to overcome difficulties and achieve common goals.
PRB will undertake to achieve the following objectives:
- Re-profiling of customers in order to obtain a better understanding of PRB customers.
- Provide Government with a more precise determination of rental subsidy.
- Definition and assertion of socio-economic standing of the income range of PRB customers.
- Encourage homeownership for customers earning above $317 weekly household combined income.
- Rent Review
- Ensure equitable distribution of rental subsidy and social cost (non-commercial obligation) compensated by Government.
- Maintain rentals at viable level.
- Increase income.
- Government Grant and Aid
- Continue assisting financially disadvantaged tenants.
- Building more flats that are affordable to customers.
- Subsidy on construction costs.
- Rental subsidy requested to Government to make rental affordable to customers.
- Rental Property Stock versus Demand
- Better information and viable partnerships with other developers of low cost rental accommodation to meet demand.
- Plan and construct at least 500 flats per annum.
- PRB’s Cost Structure
- PRB recognises that its current cost structure needs to be reduced and benchmarked.
- Socio Economic Obligation
- Reduce squatter settlements.
- Promote healthy living.
- House urban workforce.
- Housing tenants in export finance and import substitute industries.
The Public Rental Board through consultation with its communities realizes that the empowerment of its communities is an integral part of its framework. In order to facilitate these development initiatives, the Public Rental Board has engaged the services of key development agencies and partners in order to broaden its coverage area and create more efficiency in its service deliveries (instead of the mere provision of low cost rental housing) so that a holistic approach to housing is realized through partnership. This way the empowerment of its communities is integrated into already existing frameworks of key partners. Coverage areas that the PRB has sought partnership for includes the empowerment of its youths & women, the delivery of early childhood education and information technology and the creation of income generating activities for tenants.
These partnerships ensure that all PRB owned estates and its tenants are afforded with every opportunity for development. The partnership details are as follows:
- Young Women’s Christian Association – the PRB realizes that the provision of technical training is beyond its own capacity building processes. As such the YWCA have now been tasked with providing training programmes for all the women, young women and youths for all PRB estates.
- Save the Children Fiji – through this partnership the PRB has been able to establish early childhood education centres in two of its estates, with plans to roll the out the same for other estates. This ensures that the all children within the PRB system can access early childhood education locally and at affordable prices.
- Telecom Fiji Limited – with PRB have teamed up to implement provision of internet access through WiFi in strategic estates. This will ensure that tenants can have access to internet facilities locally instead of having to travel long distances to access the same, whilst having competitive charges to meet tenant’s budgets.
- Fiji Police Force – this partnership ensures that the lives of tenants and all PRB property are secured. a pilot project has been rolled out at Mead Road, plans are underway to roll out the same for the other estates.
- Women/Youth Groups – this partnership with the women/youth groups ensures that all women/youths in the PRB system are empowered and provided with programmes to not only strengthen their partnership with the PRB but to also provide them with income generating opportunities. This way entire families are assisted through these programmes.
- Estate Committees – this partnership ensures that the in the absence of PRB personnel, the smooth running of its estates is overseen by these committees. Whilst on one hand this tenant issues are met within the estate, it also ensures that these committee’s become strategic partners with the PRB.
Who or what they are/What they offer
These partners through their various development frameworks target key components to ensure that PRB communities are able to gain access to their various services
- Young Women’s Christian Association – the YWCA is a non-profitable organization, that focuses on the implementation of projects for women and youths as a means of up-skilling them for economic livelihood.
- Save the Children Fiji – SCF is an NGO whose main focus is the implementation of mobile playgroups in order to make early childhood education accessible for all segments of society.
- Telecom Fiji Limited – a subsidiary of ATH, is a major service provider in the telecommunication industry whose focus is the provision of communication via telephone and internet connectivity.
- Fiji Police Force – is a service provider whose main focus is the protection of lives and property for the people of Fiji.
- Women/Youth Groups – are groups that have been formed within the PRB communities who are tasked with overseeing the needs of the youths and women and have become integral partners with the PRB.
- Estate Committees – are groups that were formed from the estates who have been charged with overseeing the needs of tenants and the daily operation of their respective estates in the absence of PRB personnel.
- Young Women’s Christian Association – Contact person: Kini
- Save the Children Fiji – Contact person: Jitesh Chand
- Telecom Fiji Limited – Contact person: Shyam Kumar
- Fiji Police Force – Contact person: Mr. Fred Cainne/ IP Ravu Dansey
- Women/Youth Group – Contact person: Jese Gade
- Estate Committees – Contact person: Jese Gade
Head Office – Suva
Officer In-charge: Mr. William Ciriduadua (Properties Supervisor –Central)
Location: Saqa Street, Housing Authority Buildings, Valelevu, Suva
Postal Address: P.O Box 5275, Raiwaqa
Phone: (679) 338 7787/ 836 0234
Ms. Sarila Wati (Acting Area Representative Northern)
Location: FNPF Building, Housing Authority, Labasa
Postal Address: P.O Box 1507, Labasa
Phone: (679) 881 6717/ 891 3630
Officer In-charge: Mr. Waisea Rokobera (Properties Supervisor – West)
Location: Housing Authority, Lautoka
Postal Address: P.O Box 5640, Lautoka
Phone: (679) 666 8717/ 836 0225