Motion filed at Parliament to delay Hiyaa flat rent

The opposition has submitted a motion at the Parliament to delay taking rent for Hiyaa social housing flats.

Although Hiyaa flats were handed over to recipients starting August 2021, the government granted a four-month grace period to complete incomplete finishing works of the apartments. Later, the period was extended by three months, which ended last month. Last Friday, the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) issued an announcement, reminding flat tenants that rent would be due on their apartments from this month onwards.

During Thursday's Parliament sitting, opposing Peoples' National Congress (PNC)'s Parliamentary Group Leader and Maduvvary MP Adam Shareef submitted a motion regarding the rent charged on the flats. He called on the government to delay charging rent for another three months in his motion.

The motion said while the flats were handed over to recipients without completing finishing works, the majority of the flat recipients had to borrow large loans to complete their apartments. While they still remain indebted, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still very real, asking the recipients to pay rent during Ramadan would cause severe financial challenges for them, it said. It also expressed concern that HDC would be charging fines on those late in making payments, which would cause even more burdens on an already disadvantaged group.

Over 1,500 tenants who reside at the Hiyaa towers have submitted a letter imploring the government to reduce the amount charged as rent. However, HDC has repeatedly said they had no plans to revise the rent. Tenants have to pay a monthly rent of MVR 7,500 and an additional MVR 1,000 as a maintenance fee.