While the provision of affordable housing to all Fijians is a key priority for the Government, it is important for the public to understand that free-housing extends only to those eligible Fijians whose homes have been destroyed by natural disasters.

Various housing options available include the following:

? Fijians with income of less than $50,000 annually are eligible for a grant of $10, 000 for the construction of a new house. A grant of $5,000 is also available for the purchase of an existing first home.

? A VAT refund scheme is available to encourage the construction of new houses by first-home owners. Proper documentation and verification is necessary to take advantage of this program.

? The Public Rental Board has been allocated $3.4 million from the National Budget for the completion of 50 flats in Naqere Savusavu and a further $700 thousand for the completion of the 36 flats in Uci place Kalabu.

? $500,000 has also been allocated to the Housing Assistance Relief Trust for the renovation and construction of new HART homes.

? Housing financial assistance can be provided through the Government?s Rural Housing Assistance Program.

Like other Government?s assistance programs, the housing assistance is intended to encourage new homeowners to construct new homes with incentives provided by Government.