By Sanjay Goundar

SUVA, Fiji (FijiSUN, Dec. 31) - One of the major leaseholders in Fiji plans to set aside more than 900 new lots to assist low-income earners and displaced farmers.

The Housing Authority of Fiji acting chief executive and general manager lending, Michael Lee, told the FijiSUN yesterday that the authority was concentrating more on assisting people who were either low- or middle-income earners and displaced farmers in need of residential land.

From early next year, 460 new lots will be available in Field 40, Lautoka, while a further 460 will be available from mid-next year in Waila, Nausori.

"These 920 lots are being developed and the ones in Lautoka are in the final stages of development and will be ready for streaming from early next year," he said.

Mr Lee said that in order to make land available at affordable prices the authority was liaising with the Government to subsidize the infrastructure cost of developing new lots.

"We are asking the Government to at least pay for the water and electricity cost of developing the new lots so that we can sell these at cheaper prices.

"As I earlier said we are taking a positive step in ensuring that the poor people in the country can also afford to buy land for themselves.

"There are a lot of people in the country who are either on low- or middle-income levels, while there are many displaced farmers who are in great need of residential land.

"So we are targeting these groups and making sure they can afford to buy land from us at very reasonable prices.

"Furthermore, we have made an agreement with the Government to develop at least 500 new lots per year."

Mr Lee said the demand for land was very high as was the cost of developing new lots.

"For example, for the 150 new lots available in Caubati this year, we received 1,000 applications," he said.

"The situation is the same throughout the country. The Housing Authority is concerned at the very high demand which we are unable to meet."

December 31, 2003



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