Panel discussion sheds light on housing sector

Consumer Council of Fiji CEO Seema Shandil. Picture: SUPPLIED.

THE Consumer Council of Fiji convened a panel discussion on Thursday November 14 with the theme “Public Perceptions of Quality and Affordability in Housing Sector” to provide a
holistic look at issues found by stakeholders in the housing sector.

“Affordable housing is an economic problem that affects all Fijians. As more individuals move to urban centres, the demand for housing subsequently increases, hence ensuring that people have access to safe, stable and affordable housing is fundamental to our future prosperity. This panel discussion gathers key stakeholders to discuss the issues they deal with and to also look mat possible solutions,”
Consumer Council of Fiji CEO Seema Shandil said.

The Panel Discussion was held from 10am-1pm  at the Suva Business Centre and included speakers from the Real Estate Agents Licensing Board, the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Fiji Revenue and Customs Services, the Real Estate Agents Association, the University of the South Pacific and the University of the South Pacific Students Association

During the event, the Council also released the results of the first ever research into the Fijian private rental and housing sector titled “Real Estate in Fiji: Rental Pricing and Non-Disclosure of Prices for Properties on Sale.”

“The research collated responses from more than 1,000 Fijians to find their reasons for renting, rental prices paid by Fijians, the condition of rental properties as well as tenants experience with landlords and the conduct real estate agents and agencies,” Ms Shandil said.

“The findings of the research would be used to lobby for change to improve the lives of ordinary Fijian consumers by suggesting possible policy reforms in the real estate sector to
make housing more affordable.”

The Council is calling for changes to be made in the existing Real Estate Agents Act 2006 and other legislation, establishment of one stop shop for the Real Estate Sector for availability of full information to both vendors and buyers, establishment of a Rental Bond Trust, to name a few,” she concluded

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