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Fiji Time: 5:41 AM on Saturday 26 July

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Housing relief

Avinesh Gopal
Tuesday, July 05, 2011

A RETIRED man was happy yesterday after the Housing Authority wrote off his home loan.

Mohammed Yusuf, 70, of Tuatua in Labasa said he and his wife could not have hoped for anything better at his age.

Mr Yusuf said he was paying off for the land he bought in 1978 and also for the house, starting with the purchase price of $3400.

"I kept on paying since then and I also had to run around a bit, from Labasa to Suva to get things sorted out for the loan," he said. "But I am happy that the running around has paid off with the Housing Authority writing off my loan of about $9000.

"This humanitarian gesture of the authority could not have come at a better time because I am a retiree and I don't have any source of income."

Mr Yusuf said he lived with his wife Jamila Yusuf and his children lived in New Zealand and Fiji.

"We are surviving only on the money that I had received after my retirement and from whatever I had saved," he said. "My children are living on their own and I don't get any kind of support from them."

Mr Yusuf said he would have struggled to make the repayment if the authority had not written off his home loan.

Housing Authority spokesman Dwain Qalovaki said Mr Yusuf was helped under the social housing policy which was announced in January.

"The policy was introduced with the aim of assisting existing home owners who had paid over two and a half times their principal loan, have retired or can prove genuine financial difficulty," he said.

"Housing Authority completely wrote off just over $9000 of Mr Yusuf's home loan account."

Mr Qalovaki said Mr Yusuf would no longer have to worry about making the housing repayments as he now owns the house.

Last week, the authority completely wrote off 17 home loans.

Since the announcement of the policy, more than 60 home loans valued at more than $1 million have been written off.


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