Govt gives an estimate date on implementation of housing project

Chief Communication Strategist of the President's Office, Ibrahim Hood has revealed that a housing project will be commenced mid-next year in a move to address the housing issues of the country.

During a press conference held on Wednesday Hood outlined the achievements of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's administration and highlighted plans for the upcoming year.

In this regard, Hood spoke on the achievements of the administration in the education, health, finance sectors and advancements in terms of infrastructural development. While not much has been attempted or achieved in addressing housing issues faced by the country, Hood did not make a comment on the sector. However, answering a question raised by a journalist, Hood said the government is working towards implementing a housing project in the Male' region, and that the work has been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances. The efforts will be resumed mid-next year, revealed Hood.

"A housing project for the Male' region will be announced. The work is currently ongoing to ensure this, and while some of the plans did not go forward as previously anticipated, we are reviewing and revising the plans to resume work sometime next year. Hopefully, this will not take long," said Hood.

Previous governments were unable to effectively address the issues of housing, and rising rents. Large-scale housing projects that had being carried out to build affordable apartments were slowed down or halted with during government transition in 2018.

When current Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed was the president of the country, the administration then built flats in reclaimed Gulhifalhu and took advance payments in large amounts from people leasing the apartments. However, when the government changed and former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom took over administration, the government had stated that the apartments were 'not fit for occupancy, and low-grade', and halted the project. The flats remain empty and unoccupied to date.

The administration of President Yameen commenced housing projects in 2018, ahead of the most recent presidential election. Before the flats were constructed, the government opened up application for the apartments, and over 50,000 people applied for housing under the project. After issuing letters to the selected applicants stating that the apartments will be leased to them, the administration began work in Hulhumale' Phase II to build 15,000 housing units.

While the project was nearly at a close when the new administration took over in November 2018, current President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had stated that the flats were 'not fit for occupancy'. A committee was established to investigate how the flats were awarded to applicants and work is currently ongoing to ensure that they were awarded to rightful and deserving applicants. Until now, no one has been able to move into the apartments.