Extension to relief package

Minister for Local Government, Housing and Community Development, Premila Kumar listening to deliberations in Parliament. Picture: PARLIAMENT OF FIJI

The Housing Authority of Fiji (Authority) has approved an extension to its COVID-19 Relief package until September 30, 2021.

Minister for Local Government, Housing and Community Development, Premila Kumar said the extension of the assistance would further compliment the authority’s previously established relief package assistance for its customers whose income were severely impacted from the pandemic following the first COVID-19 case which was recorded in Fiji last year.

The Housing Authority currently has over 2500 active mortgage customers in the authority’s mortgage portfolio and another 10,000 customers are paying ground rent.

“Since this COVID-19 Relief package was announced in April last year, 497 customers have applied for assistance and a total of 422 customers have benefitted from this program,” said Mrs Kumar.

“Affected customers can apply for various options as prescribed under the Consumer Credit Act Section 66 under the clause “Changes on Grounds of Hardship” such as repayment holiday, extension of loan term, interest only repayment, extended loan terms and reduction in repayment amount,” she said.

“The relief package is offered to only those customers affected by the current situation and will be assessed by the Authority on a case by case basis,” said Mrs Kumar.

The Authority stated it would provide either a three months’ holiday on repayment of loan, extension of the term of the loan without any fees, repayment of interest only or a three-month holiday on the repayment of the loan with extension to the term of the loan to assist those customers impacted by the COVID 19 crisis.

Mrs Kumar said existing recipients need not re-apply, but if they intend to request further extensions, they need to submit proof of their recent employment status as per notices already issued to them by the Authority.

Application forms and details were on the Authority’s website www.housing.com.fj and all applications need to be accompanied with letter from employer signed by Human Resources manager, latest salary slip or statutory declaration if unemployed.

The Public Rental Board (PRB) has also reactivated its COVID-19 Relief to affected tenants for deferment of rent.

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