Mayor calls for additional three-month rent moratorium for Hiyaa units

Male’ City Mayor Dr. Mohamed Muizzu. (Sun Photo/Naail Hussain)

Male’ City Mayor Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has called on the authorities to grant an additional three-month extension to the rent moratorium for the Hiyaa social housing units developed in Hulhumale’ Phase II.

His appeal comes after the existing rent moratorium granted by the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) expired on Saturday.

Muizzu described the move to Sun as a deliberate attempt by the government to increase the hardships of the people.

“The government fails to understand the dire situation the people are in. I don’t think the government understands the suffering of the people. There’s a great distance between the government and the people. Because the people are facing hardships, especially the people who moved to those flats,” he said.

Muizzu said that many of the people who moved to the flats had taken loans of MVR 100,000-MVR 200,000 to get the finishing work done.

“And now Ramadan is here. Everyone agrees Ramadan is the month in which expenses rise the highest. And now they have to pay rent too this month,” he said.

Muizzu said that he had originally appealed to the government to grant a rent moratorium of at least nine months, but the government had responded with deaf ears. And that the government had refused to change its decision after the six-month moratorium period expired.

“They should extend the rent moratorium. We asked for nine months. What that means is, grant an additional three months,” he said.

Muizzu also called on the government to calculate the average cost of finishing work, and subtract the cost from the total payment for the units.

Muizzu said that it wasn’t just the people living in the Hiyaa units who were facing hardships, but almost the entire population of Male’.

“I believe the government must consider this and grant a significant ease in utility bills for Ramadan,” he said.