Back in history | Families face eviction

Peter Moore with his family after their eviction. Picture: FT FILE

About 160 Suva families would be evicted if they did not pay arrears owed to the Public Rental Board, according to The Fiji Times on April 1, 1998.

It said the families living on Kia Rd, off Nailuva and Grantham roads, were to have paid the board $40 a week in rent from January the previous year.

The Fiji Times reported that before the notice to increase rent was issued, the 152 families paid $7 a week.

It quoted PRB general manager Solomone Naivalu as saying the board issued eviction warnings to the families in February.

In 1978, the landowners of Nailuva agreed that the villagers of Tutalevu and Malea, who were squatting there, be given freehold land along Grantham Rd.

According to the report, the Housing Authority developed the area and handed it to the board in the late 1980s after the authority faced financial problems.

Mr Naivalu said the estate was handed to the board to operate on a commercial basis, and that it had nothing to do with the agreement between the authority and the tenants over rent.

He said the initial agreement with the tenants was that the rent would be determined by their wages.

“We are giving them an option to move out to places we have that they can afford,” Mr Naivalu told The Fiji Times.

The report quoted tenant Miliana Tabuanidua as saying the increase was not justified and that the tenants association had told them to stay despite the arrears.

It said Mrs Tabuanidua had lived in the PRB flats for nine years and could not afford to pay $40 a week.

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