COVID-19: Housing relief

Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Premila Kumar speaking in Parliament on Monday, February 17, 2020. Picture: SUPPLIED/FIJIAN PARLIAMENT

PUBLIC Rental Board and Housing Authority of Fiji are offering relief packages for customers directly affected as a result of COVID-19.

Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Premila Kumar announced the decision by the boards, however she cautioned customers that while the relief options would provide temporary relief, they were likely to increase the total amount owing on a loan.

PRB and Housing Authority customers can ask for the contract to be changed by opting for any of these options:

  • Postponing loan payment i.e. repayment holiday where principal and interest payment is deferred;
  • Extending the term of their loans and reducing the amount of each payment;
  • Extending the term of the contract and postponing debt repayments for a specified period of time (a repayment holiday) or
  • Interest only repayment.

It was also announced that all fees applicable for restructuring the loans during this period would be waived as well.

“The welfare of our customers is of utmost priority and this decision has been made in order to provide relief to them especially those who have lost their jobs, had to take reduced pay or worked few days a week,” said Ms Kumar.

She said a relief package was also being offered to Public Rental Board (PRB) tenants, whose income had been directly affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic, allowing these tenants to apply for rental payment deferment for next three months.

Applications for both HA and PRB relief options can be submitted to respective regional offices along with a supporting letter from the employer confirming their current employment status or a statutory declaration for those who are self-employed.

The Housing Authority of Fiji is currently providing loans to 2,772 customers, whilst PRB is currently providing 1625 rental flats for its tenants.

These relief packages for both the HA and PRB is for three months which will be reviewed on a monthly basis as the situation evolves.

Customers are encouraged to contact both teams via email or by telephone under the current circumstances.

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