The Government’s Housing Department has been allocated $2.5 million under the 2016-2017 National Budget.
Specifics of the budget were announced in Parliament last night by Attorney-General and Finance Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
Highlights included a $174,000 allocation for a review and the implementation of a National Housing Policy, and a $1 million subsidy towards the Public Rental Board.
A City Wide Squatter Upgrade project has been given $0.4 million, while $2.1 million will go towards the upgrading and resettlement of squatters.
$0.5 million will go towards a Housing Assistance and Relief Trust, with $2.6 million for development projects in Simla.
$341,332 has been allocated for sustainable income generating project, $0.5m for a Social Housing Policy, $2.45m for the Matavolivoli Development projects in Nadi and $10m for the First Home Buyers scheme.
Victims of house infernos will also be slightly relieved through a $0.5m housing assistance for fire victims.
A new Value Added Tax levy means that those who rent residential accommodation and earn above $100,000 will now be charged VAT, with a new VAT monitoring system to soon be introduced.
Mr Khaiyum stated that with the fiscal year no longer coinciding with the calendar year, the Fijian economy is expected to grow by 3.1 percent under the new 2016/2017 fiscal year, with a projected 2.8 percent growth for fiscal year 2017/2018.