October 09, 2012

RBF gives HA loan

Timoci Vula
Tuesday, October 09, 2012

THE Reserve Bank has approved a $25million loan to the Housing Authority to meet the housing needs of existing and potential homeowners.

The authority's land housing development general manager, Isikeli Navuda, confirmed this to The Fiji Times and acknowledged the government's assistance in providing the guarantee.

"We are getting 2 per cent on the loan," he said.

"It is never heard of in Fiji and with that 2 per cent, we will be able to pass on the benefits to the people of Fiji.

"We have been borrowing at much higher rates in the past. This is something new that we have tried and it has come through.

"It is our intention at Housing Authority to pass that benefit on.

"We don't want to keep it with us and make money out of it but we are certainly committed to ensuring the public and people in need or in search of housing actually get the benefit of those reduced interest rates on their borrowings."

Mr Navuda said the authority had been borrowing at a rate of 7, 8 and even 10 per cent in the past, which was why they could not reduce their lending rates.

Authority spokesman Dwain Qalovaki said the $25m loan was also earmarked to enable greater accessibility of home loan products targeted at low income earning families.

He said this was in line with the national housing policy launched in the first quarter of last year aimed at consolidating housing stakeholder efforts towards ensuring every Fijian, regardless of income level, accesses affordable, decent and quality housing.

"This loan will enable HA to assist young professionals, single parent families and security guards access affordable housing finance options," Mr Qalovaki said.

Mr Navuda said the HA board with instructions from the government was keen to ensure the benefits were passed on to the people to relieve them of debts and allow them to carry on with their lives.

"There are good times ahead with Housing Authority in terms of us performing our duties and ensuring the provision of housing and shelter to the people of Fiji, and the commitment level of government, board, management and staff of Housing Authority is there.

"We are all eager to deliver that as mandated of us."

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