The success rate of the National Housing Policy has been applauded as more than half of the activities under the Action Plan have already been implemented.

Minister for Local Government and Housing, Mr Samuela Saumatua said the Ministry together with key stakeholders has implemented 67 per cent of the policy Action Plan within the first year.

“My ministry had carried out 16 out of 24 activities of the Action Plan under the Housing Policy. This is equivalent to 67 per cent of the work completed,” he said.

He opened the National Housing Policy Implementation Action Plan- Stakeholders Policy Mainstreaming Workshop, which also marks the first anniversary of the policy’s establishment, which serves to ensure the provision of decent and affordable housing to the people.

However, the Minister pointed out that housing providers were implementing the change in policy on a piecemeal basis with some impacts on the promotion of affordable and decent house for all communities.

Mr Saumatua acknowledged that despite the slow implementation progress by stakeholders, they had actively participated in a number of Government activities including;

-      establishment of National Housing Council
-      Technical Sub Committee
-      building materials under price control
-      $10 million Housing Assistance Grant for first homeowners     
-      five major housing developments
-      15 per cent tax refund for first time home buyers
-      establishment of land bank

Minister Saumatua said the workshop was to expand the provision of affordable and decent homes to the communities.

“It is also to ascertain whether activities, programmes and plans by stakeholders are compatible with the new policy shift on partnership through policy mainstreaming and implementation.”

The two-day workshop is packed with presentations from Government Ministries and other stakeholders on how they will contribute to make the policy a resounding success.