204 of the housing units constructed through the Hiyaa programme have been sold off as commercial property.
The Hiyaa Public Housing Scheme initiated by the Yameen administration had overseen the construction of 7,000 housing in the reclaimed Hulhumalé Phase 2 area. The construction had been handled by public companies. 204 of the total 534 housing units that had been built by the Maldives Ports Authority (MPL) have been sold off at commercial property prices.
The government had originally planned those 204 flats to be allocated for newlyweds, Malé residents, registered local migrants to Malé, and the disabled. However, as a result of policies enacted by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the MPL had sold these housing units off as commercial property; a 1-room unit at the price of MVR 800,000.
“After President Solih came to power, the flats built by public companies went under the Fahi Dhiriulhun Corporation, which the President had formed. They changed the government policies about the one-room flats and decided to sell them off as commercial property”, said an MPL official in an interview to Voice newspaper.
The Housing Ministry had cancelled 3 flat categories in an announcement they released yesterday. The government had claimed that this category had only contained 36 flats.
Although the government had claimed this, the first four floors of each of the towers built by public companies had been dedicated to the Hiyaa Scheme, and they comprise of one-room apartments.
Prior to this, Housing Minister Mohamed Aslam had been caught lying about how the previous government had not built any one-room flats.
Many accuse the government of having reduced the number of Hiyaa units given out as public housing in order to protect the lucrative real-estate market in Malé City and the Greater Malé Area. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s son and daughter both own shares in large real-estate company active in the Area.