THE Housing Authority of Fiji has welcomed the announcement of the Value Added Tax (VAT) refund program as a positive incentive to grow a housing sector for all Fijians.
The VAT refund was announced to encourage landowners to build their home in the New Year by providing a refund for those who built a house with the intention to reside in it for up to a maximum of $120,000. HA chief executive Alipate Naiorosui said the budget announcement was a tangible commitment to ensure that every Fijian — regardless of gender, financial and social status — had the opportunity to benefit from different housing incentives to encourage home ownership and retention. "The VAT refund is timely as the lots at Tacirua East Stage 2, Wainibuku and Waila city are scheduled for delivery in 2013," Mr Naiorosui said in a statement.
"This refund scheme will provide the impetus to encourage the construction of new houses as well as create employment in the construction industry."
Ultimately, he said the substantial refund from building a house could be used by the new home owner to either reduce their home loan, meaning that they pay their mortgage sooner or they would be able to use this money to pay for their children's education or put it into a savings account. He said the refund scheme was a progressive approach by government to encourage Fijians across the country to own a home and foster the growth of the local housing construction industry.
Another significant step for the housing sector was the announcement of the Reserve Bank loan to HA targeted at low and middle income Fijian families. He said the $25m loan would allow HA to provide low income earners an opportunity to access affordable and accessible financial services to buy land, build a house or to purchase an existing residential property in 2013.