Speaker of Parliament, former President Mohamed Nasheed, on Tuesday, said that he believed the registered residents of the congested Maldivian capital, Male’, affected by the housing shortage in the city, would be open to relocating to other islands if they were allowed options under State housing projects run in the atolls.
He made the remark during the debate on a motion presented by Kaashidhoo MP Abdulla Jabir regarding housing this morning.
Nasheed noted that people from the atolls were allowed the option of applying for housing projects run in the Greater Male’ Area, and questioned whether the parliamentary representatives for constituencies in the atolls would be open to allowing people from Male’ to apply for housing projects in the atolls.
There is no obstacle to people from Male’ relocating to the atolls if they have no objection, opinioned Nasheed.
“From what I can see, the 7,000 (Hiyaa Housing Project) flats were issued based on this policy [to allow people from the atolls to relocate to the Greater Male’ Area]. I believe, if the people in Male’ who lack housing were allowed options from other islands, then they would, no doubt, make use of the opportunity,” he said.
He urged politicians to refrain from making disparaging remarks against other islands for the purpose riling up the sentiments of their constituents. He said that such remarks were counterproductive, and risked conflict.
Nasheed said that the reality of the matter was that Male’ faced a severe housing crisis, and that politicians should not engage in verbal disputes over the issue, but engage in discourse towards remedying the issue.
“The risk of conflict will rise, the more the resources of the Maldivian islands are depleted,” said Nasheed. “Conflicts will only deepen the more the housing crisis in Male’ escalates, making daily livelihood a struggle.”