Gov’t holds talks on reducing rent on Hiyaa flats

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has held a meeting with non-governmental organisation (NGO) Hiyaa Rayyithunge Gulhun on reducing rent for tenants of the Hiyaa flats.

Speaking to PSM News, a senior member of Hiyaa Rayyithunge Gulhun Ali Rifau said that they highlighted three points of concern during the meeting, the most important of which was the high rent of the Hiyaa flats. He cited President Solih as saying that the government is already formulating solutions.

As such, President Solih put forth solutions such as reducing the rent for five years and repaying loans taken to complete the finishing works on the apartments. Other solutions include reducing rent for low-income families, reducing the rent on all tenants, and extending the government’s loan repayment period from 25 years to 30 years. Members of the NGO told the president they preferred a solution where rent is reduced for all tenants of the Hiyaa flats.

The Hiyaa flats consist of two-room apartments with USD551 rent, including the maintenance fee. Hiyaa Rayyithunge Gulhun noted that the rent for three-room apartments built under previous social housing projects was cheaper and that the purpose of the meeting was to ensure the same right to cheap housing for tenants of the Hiyaa flats.

According to the government, 40% of tenants are currently failing to pay their rent. Hiyaa Rayyithunge Gulhun stated that it encourages tenants to meet their rent obligations while highlighting that reducing rent could help increase compliance.

During the meeting, Hiyaa Rayyithunge Gulhun also discussed providing subsidies on water bills for tenants of Hiyaa flats, noting that the bathrooms use the water supply from Male’ Water and Sewerage Company (MWSC), which significantly increases the water bill. The NGO also discussed providing convenient bus services to meet the increasing demand as more residents move to the Hiyaa flats.