Former minister says Hiyaa flats priced for MVR 5,600

PPM deputy leader, Dr. Mohamed Muizzu pictured during a rally by the Progressive Congress Coalition on December 6, 2019. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Former Housing Minister Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has reiterated that the social housing units of the Hiyaa project could be handed out with a monthly rent of just MVR 5,600.

Dr. Muizzu served as the Housing Minister in President Yameen’s administration when the 7000 unit Hiyaa project was initiated. Dr. Muizzu’s statement comes after the Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed said that the units were a debt trap before comparing the project to MDP manifesto projects.

Nasheed also said that the flats were built as 500 feet “small pigeon cages”. Each foot accounted up to MVR 1900 with a total rent payment of MVR 11,000, according to Nasheed.

Dr. Muizzu has previously made similar statements that the units could be profitable even if they were sold as low as MVR 5,600 per month. This was decided in President Yameen’s administration.

“President Yameen decided that, including the profits, construction costs and all the finishing costs of the Hiyaa flats, MVR 5,600 per month distributed over 20 years was to be collected from tenants to make ends meet.” Said Dr. Muizzu.

Dr. Muizzu has previously said that the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) would profit even if MVR 7,000 was collected from monthly payments.

However, Housing Development Corporation later said that an additional USD 42 million spent on the project had raised the total price of each unit to MVR 11,000 – an increase of 96.4 percent.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, after coming to power, said that the government was working to reduce the price by introducing subsidies. After almost two years to the administration, the Hiyaa project flats have still not been handed over.

HDC recently said that the project would be fully completed by the end of this year.