Irfaan Ali calls out Govt for broken promise on affordable housing

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…says a PPP Govt will embark on aggressive, affordable housing drive

Taking into account the current Government’s lacklustre housing drive, People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Presidential Candidate, Dr Irfaan Ali has promised that should his party win power, it would ensure affordable housing is made more accessible.

This was revealed on Sunday at the launch of the PPP/C campaign for the upcoming General and Regional Elections. Dr Ali pointed out that in 2015, one of A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) campaign slogans was “housing for all”.

“Our programme is about improving the well-being of our people through improved health, education, social services, affordable housing … imagine this government came to office and they said they will give everyone housing,” he said.

“To date, they have not developed a single new house lot. That is their track record that they are hiding from, that they cannot speak about. So, our programme will create a future that is sustainable for our children.”

PPP’s Presidential Candidate, Irfaan Ali

Records have shown that the distribution of house lots has declined since the change of Government in 2015, despite the fact that the demand has not decreased. This was evident in the 2017 Annual Report of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), which was laid in the National Assembly last year.

The report shows that a total of only 1131 house lots were allocated in that year for qualified applicants. In fact, the report states that the original allocation target for that year was merely 1000.

This does not compare favourably with the previous year, during which – according to the report – 2020 house lots were allocated, an improvement on the original target of 1100. This includes 625 low to moderate income house lots and 1395 middle to high-income house lots.

But these years’ figures pale in comparison to the amount of house lots distributed in previous years under the PPP/C Administration. In the CH&PA’s 2013 Annual Report, its programme performance assessment had indicated that 4417 house lots were allocated, just shy of the 5900 target.

In the area of conveyance of transports and titles, the Authority was able to achieve its targets for successive years. The report shows that in 2017, 2076 titles were processed and 3498 were distributed. A target of 2000 was set for both activities. It is, however, a reduction from 2016, when 2212 titles were processed and 4874 allocated.

Again, however, 2017’s figures are unable to stand up to CH&PA’s performance under the former Administration. In 2013, the PPP planned to process 5000 titles and exceeded that target to process 5326 titles. In addition, it distributed 3643 titles that year.

At its end-of-year press conference in December, the CH&PA had announced that for last year approximately 1300 house lots were allocated countrywide.