A number of people who attended the Housing Ministry consultation last night have indicated that they do not support the new Informal Lot Allocation Policy that will look at how lots are allocated in developed informal settlements.
Residents of squatter settlements have raised the question on why it took so long to think about them and how long will it take for the Ministry of Housing to implement the policy.
They have also asked what is the guarantee that the implementation process will continue even if there is a change of government.
One resident says he does not understand how this policy would be implemented because there are so many problems in squatter settlements.
People also say that most of them will not be able to afford the lots.
Some also claim that they have seen numerous governments come with such policies close to the elections but forget about them when they are re-elected.
Under the new Informal Lot Allocation Policy, an informal settler will need to bear the full cost if their homes are required to be removed or relocated.
The policy states that once an informal settlement has been upgraded the Ministry will conduct property title searches and household income information verification with other relevant government ministries and institutions including the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service and the Fiji National Provident Fund.
The policy states that the lot lease land title must be under the name of both the applicant and the spouse or partner, the term of residential lease shall be 99 years and the lot shall be used for residential purposes, the applicant is required to construct and/or formalise the house on the lot within 24 months from date of allocation of the lot lease, unless otherwise approved in writing by the Allocation Committee.
It states that all lot recipients may apply for housing grant assistance offered by the Ministry provided they apply and meet the eligibility criteria.
The Ministry may provide information on design of lower-cost residential buildings but will not be responsible for any construction works.
The approved applicant shall make their own arrangement for building financing and approvals, dwelling construction and arrange and pay the appropriate service connection fee to the utility providers.
The Ministry will raise awareness and offer guidance on building cost-effective climate change and disaster-resilient structures.
Each eligible household allocated a lot within the programme must pay allotment price to the Ministry for the allocated upgraded lot.
Under the policy, if the household income range is less than $10,000, Government subsidy level is 90% of the current market value of allocated lot.
If the household income is between $10,001 and $15,000 the Government Subsidy level is 80%, if it is between $15,001 and $25,000 the Government Subsidy level is 70%, if it is between $25,001 and $35,000 the Government Subsidy level is 60% and if it is between $35,001 and $50,000 the Government Subsidy level is 40% of the current market value of the allocated lot.
If the household income is above $50,001, people have to pay the current market value of the allocated lot.
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