BUYING a house has now been made affordable for middle and low income earners with Housing Authority's new project at the Wainibuku subdivision.
HA signed a contract with BW Holdings Limited yesterday, a locally-owned family company based in Suva, for the development of 261 residential lots at the subdivision along the Nasinu-Nausori corridor.
"The Wainibuku project will produce a mix of lots with 70 per cent being targeted at middle and low income families," Dwain Qalovaki, Housing Authority's spokesman revealed.
"The Wainibuku project is the second mixed development in the country after Tacirua East Stage 2 that is aimed at creating home ownership for every Fijian regardless of gender, social and financial status.
"It is also in line with our government's vision of creating affordable, decent and quality housing for Fijians by the year 2020."
The new subdivision, which is located on 41 acres of crown lease land, will be developed in three phases.
Mr Qalovaki confirmed the first 100 lots are expected to be completed by July, 2013 with a further 90 lots by October in the same year.
The remaining 71 lots are expected to be completed by March, 2014 — a timeline the contractor and Housing Authority would work towards achieving.
The Wainibuku mixed development project will also have one lot redesigned for religious purposes and one commercial lot.
"The lots will range from 400 to 1000 square metres and is expected to begin selling at approximately $20,000 depending on the size and location."
According to Housing Authority's demand survey, there was genuine demand for housing at the subdivision with 2000 citizens noting their interest to own a lot in this area.
"As Fijians purchase any of these lots next year, they will be able to utilise the VAT refund scheme that was announced as part of the 2013 National Budget," Mr Qalovaki said.
"Once a citizen purchases the lot and builds a house to the value of $120,000 with the purpose of living in it, they will be able to claim a VAT refund of a maximum of approximately $15,600.
"This is money they can use to either reduce their home loan account, invest in their children's education, place a down-payment on a car or put it toward savings.
"The trickle on effect of the VAT refund is that it encourages people to build a house, stimulates the construction sector by creating employment and provides a monetary refund that can be used to reduce their home loan accounts or investments."
The subdivision at Wainibuku is expected to be handed over to BW Holdings Limited next week for development works to begin.
HA chief executive officer Alipate Naiorosui said the tender was advertised and subsequently awarded to BW Holdings based on their time-frame submitted for the completion of works, the financial position of the firm and the underlying factor being affordability for low and middle income families.
"We are pleased to be awarded this project and we are happy that Housing Authority and the government are investing in projects of this quota which allows local contractors to bid for. We want to thank Housing Authority for running numerous projects and also providing solutions to squatters which is in line with current government policies," BW Holdings director Ugesh Narayan said.