'Those deserving of flats will receive flats despite final recipient list'

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that social housing flats will be awarded to deserving applicants even if they were not included in the final list of flat recipients due to errors.

The final list of flat recipients for the 7,000 housing units under the Hiyaa Project was published on February 9th. According to the list, 6,720 individuals will be receiving flats under the scheme. Over 25,000 people had applied for the flats.

The previous administration had also published a final list of flat recipients for the Hiyaa flats, and issued letters of guarantee to those on the list. However, the flat committee established by the current administration brought changes to the initial list and removed a large number of people from the original list compiled by the previous administration. Criticism has been aimed at the government due to the changes in the recipient list.

Speaking at the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s National Assembly on Sunday night, President Soloh acknowledged that the public has concerns over the final recipient list. The president said it is understandable that there may be concerns while over 25,000 people had applied for the 7,000 housing units. The president assured that flats will be awarded to those who deserve it if there are issues with the final recipient list.

While many complaints have been filed regarding the flat recipient list, the flat committee has responded to all complaints. The committee earlier published the guidelines on checking the living condition of applicants after questions were raised regarding the condition assessment process. However, some continue to claim that the flat committee responded to complaints by including false information in their response.

President Solih said his administration is working towards finding a solution for the housing issues faced by the country’s citizens, and said that his administration gives high priority to the issue. He also reiterated his pledge to begin the construction of 5,000 housing units before the end of the year.

President Solih previously stated that the government’s housing plans were delayed due to unforeseen circumstances. However, the projects are now ongoing, said the president. In this regard, the practical work of the construction of 1,000 mixed model housing units have already commenced while the project agreement has been signed for the construction of 2,000 affordable range housing units, said the president.