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Fiji Time: 6:59 AM on Monday 21 April

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Loans write-off

Geraldine Panapasa
Tuesday, January 22, 2013

HOUSING Authority (HA) has written off 236 home loan accounts under its social housing policy over the past 18 months.

For the year ending 2012, $1million from a government grant and $0.9m from Housing Authority provisions were utilised to assist 146 families.

HA chief executive officer, Alipate Naiorosui said the 146 families represented a 62 per cent increase in the number of customers assisted in 2011.

He attributed the increase to government's grant of $2m.

"Apart from the social housing policy which provided financial relief to 236 families, six village housing scheme loan accounts in Ba were written off totalling $260,000," Mr Naiorosui said.

"Four village housing scheme accounts in Vanua Levu amounting to $245,000 were also written off.

"Initially the criteria for write-off required the home owner to have paid over three times the principal loan amount, be unemployed due to advanced age or medical grounds or facing genuine financial difficulty."

He said 90 families were assisted in 2011 where $0.5m of government grant and $0.8m from HA provisions were used to completely or partially write-off home loan accounts.

"Of the 90 families, 73 per cent were located in the Central Division while 24 per cent were from the Western Division and the remainder was from the Northern Division.

"The criteria was then revised downward to allow more home owners who had paid over two and a half times the principal loan amount to qualify for the assistance."

This was again adjusted to two times the principal loan amount and subsequently one and a half times the principal loan amount, Mr Naiorosui said.