A housing project in Fiji is in progress to provide affordable, climate-resilient homes for 3,000 low and middle-income families says the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
The IFC is the lead transaction advisor to the Fijian government for the project, which is expected to mobilise an estimated US$200 million of private investment in the country.
In a statement, IFC says the private-public partnership project comes at a time when Fiji has a huge need for more affordable, climate-resilient homes, after the dual shocks of COVID-19 and a series of natural disasters have taken a heavy toll on its economy.
Fijian Attorney-General and Minister for Housing and Community Development, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said: “Ensuring access to adequate housing is about more than any financial benefit, it is about supplying security, dignity, a sense of ownership, and optimism for families.”
“This public-private partnership financing model with the IFC will allow for the construction of multi-story housing projects across Viti Levu. Rather than entrench residential inequality, these mixed strata-housing units will be made affordable for families at many different income levels,” said Khaiyum.
Judith Green, IFC Country Manager for the Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand, says “affordable housing projects like this can deliver multiple benefits by lowering the burden of housing rent, increasing households’ disposable incomes, lifting consumption and investment, and ultimately, helping drive economic growth and development.”
IFC revealed that an estimated 250 informal settlements exist in Fiji, with limited infrastructure and access to essential services such as water and electricity.
It says the project will be developed in the Central and Western divisions of Fiji, with approximately 3,000 affordable housing units across six sites. The scope includes construction, handover of the affordable housing units at a predetermined price, and maintenance for a specified period.
The developer will also have the opportunity to construct high-end housing units at the sites, which can be sold at market value, and homes will be built using EDGE, a global green building certification system created by IFC, that focuses on making buildings more resource efficient, the statement said.
Across Fiji, Timor-Leste, and PNG, IFC says it aims to deliver almost 6,000 housing units, with a private investment of US$350 million.