TWELVE villages from the Ba Province have had their Village Housing Scheme written off by the Housing Authority of Fiji.
The 12 trustees, which also included Tavua Village, were delighted with the write- off letters given to them by chairman of the Housing Authority Board, Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga in Lautoka on Friday afternoon.
"The write-off of these 12 villages housing scheme is being funded for by government grant and Housing Authority provision to those schemes that have paid over one and half the principal loan amount and are customers who are facing financial constraints to service their loans, customers who have retired and are over 55 years of age, customers who are medically proven unfit to work, customers who are physically or mentally unable to work and customers who are currently unemployed," said Colonel Tikoitoga.
He said the 12 village housing schemes that are being written off amounted to $915,000 of the total portfolio.
"The village housing scheme was introduced in 1980 to provide a mechanism for adequate and decent housing for those that resided in the peri-urban and rural areas and has a total portfolio of $9.4million of which 81 per cent of the village housing schemes are located in the Western Division.
"In this instance, the write-off of these 12 villages housing schemes represents the creation of communal wealth at the vanua and traditional level."
However, Col Tikoitoga said the write-off came with conditions.
"There is also a condition that the trustees of these village housing schemes will have to abide by, being that no further loans will be given by the Housing Authority unless the total amount assisted is repaid in full."
Col. Tikoitoga also revealed plans to view other villages that could also be eligible to have their Housing Scheme written off by the authority.
"To ensure that more village communities benefit from this housing schemes nationwide that meet the criteria with the intention to provide other iTaukei villages and provinces to benefit from this housing program."