SUVA, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Fiji's Housing Minister Premila Kumar said in Parliament Tuesday there has been a growing demand for the first home and first land grant in Fiji.
She said 2,321 people have benefitted from the government's first home initiative in the last 5 years. Under the two schemes, eligible Fijians are given a government grant to buy or build their first home.
Kumar said 336 applications were approved in 2019 and that the interest in homeownership reflects the confidence of the public and the financial sector in Fiji's economy.
The Fijian government wants all its citizens to have access to a decent and affordable home and has been offering first home buyers with an annual income of less than 50,000 Fijian dollars (about 23,000 U.S dollars) 15,000 Fijian dollars (about 7,000 U.S. dollars) in grant.
The First Home Buyer Grant Policy is being offered by the Housing and Community Development Ministry.
Fijians who earn 50,000 Fijian dollars (about 23,000 U.S. dollars) a year and above, are qualified for a grant assistance of 10,000 Fijian dollars (about 4,600 U.S. dollars) provided for the land-and-house package or 5,000 Fijian dollars (about 2,300 U.S. dollars) for a ready built home.
To be eligible, applicants must be a Fijian citizen residing in the island nation, 18 years of age and above, have an annual household income of 100,000 Fijian dollars (about 46,000 U.S. dollars) or less, and have never purchased or owned a home in Fiji and the individuals must meet the financial institution's loan.
About 55.9 percent of Fiji's population of around 900,000 reside in urban areas which is a growth of little more than 16 percent from 2007, according to the 2017 Population and Housing Census.