Press Release No. : 12/2018
Date : 21 June 2018
The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) in collaboration with Griffith University from Australia and the Sustainable Living Infrastructure Consortium (SLIC) and its parent organisation the National Affordable Housing Consortium conducted a Housing Affordability Workshop on 21 June 2018 at the Reserve Bank of Fiji. The Workshop was an opportunity for all stakeholders to deliberate on issues surrounding the housing sector in Fiji and draw on experiences from our Australian counterparts.
The Key Speaker was Professor George Earl who is the Chief Executive Officer of SLIC, with a career spanning over 46 years which includes extensive research. He has produced over 80 academic papers amongst other publications, and at the Workshop, he presented on Australian housing, making comparisons to Fiji using concepts such as BuyAssist-Share Equity Home Ownership, Build to Rent, Personal Housing Plans, as well as 1st Home Ownership Education Training. Stakeholders from government departments, non-governmental organisations, financiers, academics and housing-related organisations attended the workshop.
Local speakers were: Mr Kolinio Bola, Director Housing from the Ministry of Housing; Mr Isikeli Navuda, Acting General Manager of Housing Authority; Mr Saud Minam, ANZ Fiji Country Head from the Association of Banks in Fiji and Deputy Governor Mr Esala Masitabua.
Deputy Governor Mr Masitabua in his opening address said that the housing sector “affects the wellbeing of its citizen, performance of the economy and contributes significantly to economic growth and employment”. He further alluded to how the Bank had joined the Fijian Government in working towards providing affordable housing services and assistance to low income earners through benefits such as the Housing Facility established in 2013. He added that housing affordability is a global challenge that every nation faces and the involvement of all stakeholders in the public and private sector is needed to improve affordable housing in Fiji.
Through the Workshop, it is hoped that deliberations from experts in Fiji and Australia would offer useful ideas and innovative solutions to help policy makers and important stakeholders in the housing sector in Fiji to address housing affordability challenges in Fiji.