HA writes down Village Schemes

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HA writes down Village Schemes

The Housing Authority of Fiji has partially written off the home loan accounts of 4 Village Housing Schemes this month worth $370,000.

Housing Authority Chairperson, Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga said, “The partial write-off of these accounts is being funded jointly through Government grant and Housing Authority provision to those village housing schemes that have paid over one and half times the principal loan amount and are facing financial difficulties in repaying the debt”.

This partial write off brings the total to 14 of the Village Housing Schemes being assisted under the social housing policy by Housing Authority. Last year, 10 village housing scheme accounts were written off in the Western and Northern division amounting to $505,000.

The villages which benefitted from the partial write offs were Saunaka village in Nadi, Korovou village in Ba, Nakorodamu village in Yasawa as well as Namotomoto and Novoci villages in Nadi.

“The move to partially write off these village housing schemes alongside individual home owners’ loan accounts nationwide is to assist homeowners who are facing genuine financial difficulties. Housing Authority is reducing the remaining debt so that they can make more affordable repayments as well as pay off their home loan account sooner.”, said Colonel Tikoitoga.

As a condition, once a scheme is written off no further loans will be issued by Housing Authority to the Village Housing Scheme unless the total amount assisted is repaid in full.

Colonel Tikoitoga concluded, “To ensure that more communities benefit from these housing programmes, Housing Authority will be evaluating other village housing schemes nationwide to determine if they qualify for assistance under the approved policy”.

The village housing scheme was introduced in 1980 to provide a mechanism for adequate and decent housing for those that resided in the peri-urban and rural areas and has a current total loan portfolio of $8.6 million.

Currently Housing Authority executives are conducting a nationwide valuation exercise of all Village Housing Scheme homes in line with insurance requirements. This process will provide insurance protection against natural disasters like Flood, Cyclone, Tidal wave or Fire.