President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Saturday revealed that additional housing units would be constructed in Lh. Naifaru next year, Naifaru Island Council has said.
A ceremony was held in Naifaru on Saturday to hand over the newly constructed 100 housing units in Naifaru to the Island Council.
Speaking to AVAS, the President of Naifaru Council, Mohamed Rasheed, said over 800 individuals applied for the 100 housing units. Out of these, he said over 700 people are in dire need of housing. He noted that the island council shared with President Solih that additional housing units are needed to address the issue and that the island was running out of land due to the increasing population.
President Solih Saturday met with Naifaru Council and said a road development project would be initiated when the current Water and Sanitation project reaches completion. Following that, a land reclamation project will be initiated.
Mohamed said 52 hectares of land could be reclaimed from the island. He said that if the council receives the green light to issue land plots after reclamation, the council would give land to residents.
'If 300 additional housing units can be constructed, the housing issues faced by Naifaru will be resolved. When we opened the [newly built] 100 units for application, we received 802 applications. Out of these, 700 plus people are those who are in dire need of housing. However, only 100 applicants received these units. We relayed to the President that it is not enough. The President said work on additional housing units would begin next year,' said the council President.
The residents of Naifaru have expressed concern about the high rent charged for the housing units. While each unit costs MVR 5,000 per month, Mohamed said discussions took place with the President to lower the rent to MVR 3,500 and lower the total sum paid for the units. The current arrangement states that MVR 1.3 million must be paid for each unit over 20 years.
'The salary of an average employee is around MVR 8,000. Electricity, water, and everything else cost this much. This is the entire salary of a person spent this way. As the people have serious concerns about this matter, we spoke to the President and requested a solution. The President has delayed the rent for three months,' said Mohamed.
Mohamed said the council brought to the PResident's attention that the Lh. Atoll Hospital constructed in Naifaru lacked resources and specialist doctors. The laboratory services available at the hospital are limited, he said.
'We discussed everything, and the President said he would address and find a solution for all issues. We hope that everything is resolved soon,' said Mohamed.
The 100 new housing units in Naifaru Island were built under a design-and-build policy by Rasheed Carpentry and Construction Pvt. Ltd. Each 1,000 square-foot unit has three bedrooms.