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Affordable Housing and the HRCM Report


I just finished watching a TVM Live Show on Housing issues in the country in connection with the release of the Report on the Assessment of the Housing Situation in the Maldives. I made several attempts to place a call to raise a point to Hon. Aslam Shakir, the Minister of State for Housing, and Mr. Zahid, the deputy chief of the Human Rights Commission.

I wanted to ask what the 12,000 families who are subject to “hell-holes” in the country should expect within the short term and within the full five-year mandate of the current government. How many of these families should expect to have decent and affordable housing within the first two years and how many within the full five years? What regions would be the beneficiaries of these housing projects and how many units would the respective regions expect to get within the short-term and the full-term?

I also wanted to ask whether the government would execute the projects through the provincial municipalities that are to be established or through the Finance Ministry via international competitive bidding? Would the government outsource the projects on BOT basis or as provincial municipality managed and operated projects?

Was there an estimate of a budget for the cost of providing adequate housing to the 12,000 families who lived in the gutters.

There is no doubt that affordable housing is one of the most attractive pledges of the MDP government. Timely action in a focused manner would be required to ensure efficienty and effectiveness of achieving the pledge within the five-year term of the first MDP government. The project seems to be still at a conceptual level. There is a need for speedy action.

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2008 in Society

 

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Election Promises and Housing Policies


The day before August 12, MDP presidential candidate Anni announced his housing policy, addressing an audience gathered at the site of the temporary shelters for tsunami victims, in Gaaf Alif Villingili. On the 12th, he briefed the media on his housing policy which seeks to provide adequate permanent housing to to over 5000 persons displayed by the 2004 tsunami who still live in temporary shelters.

The day after, on August 13, Hulhumaale Development Corporation announced that it would open applications for 488 flats to be completed in February next year. The government has announced that it would roll out 1500 flats in the next three years. This would cater to over 12,000 families who live in either slum conditions or “unaffordable” rent in Male’.

Dr. Hassan Saeed’s housing policy states that (social) security depends on (affordable) housing. He has said that his housing policy would seek to establish a mechanism that would provide affordable housing to all Maldivians and facilitate a housing finance scheme for new home owners. He has proposed to build 5000 – 8000 flats in selected islands, and that the schemes would not seek to make a profit and that having children or being married would not be made an eligibility criteria for housing.

The government has no clear housing policy that is adequate to cater for the needs of the people, and the DRP presidential campaign has not announced a housing policy that they would implement should the people elect their candidate to lead the next government.

Anni in his press conference to brief the media on his housing policy, said that; a government of his would seek to provide affordable decent housing to all Maldivians and also to provide construction materials for social housing at an affordable rate, and provide soft loans through housing finance. Anni also said that he would develop a land use plan in consultation with the people.

The majority of the Maldivian people – tsunami victims and the rest alike; continue to live in slum conditions and will continue to do so until there is sincerity in delivery of the noble policies that are being promised and would be promised by presidential hopefuls. Such sincerity in action is hard to come by, as it would badly affect the house-owners (nearly 20% of Male’ population) who live a luxurious life on income from rented properties.

Jumhooree Party who has announced that it would compete in the upcoming presidential elections is yet to announce its candidate in the race or its housing policy.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2008 in Society

 

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