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Budget 2020-2021:Equal access to decent housing

Date: June 16, 2020
Domain:Public Infrastructure
Persona: Business; Citizen; Government; Non-Citizen
 

GIS – 16 June 2020 : It is time for the implementation of bold measures  in order to guarantee equal access to decent housing for all and to tackle inequalities .

The Minister of Housing and Land Use Planning, Mr. Louis Steven Obeegadoo, made this statement during his intervention on budget debates, yesterday, in the National Assembly.

According to him, the 2020-2021 budgetary measures for the construction sector are encouraging, given the lack of affordable state-built apartments for purchase or sale.

There is a dysfunctional housing market situation whereby working and middle class Mauritians find it difficult to find affordable housing units to buy or rent, he said, while adding that there are currently around 18,000 applicants for social housing at the NHDC and the NEF.

Mr. Louis Steven Obeegadoo reiterated the determination and political will of the government to ensure that the vulnerable ones are given the necessary assistance to benefit from decent housing. He thus highlighted that the 2020-2021 Budget provides for the construction of 12,000 houses in a period of 3 years, which he stressed, is an unprecedented financial commitment from the Government to act quickly and efficiently to build a large number of social housing within a short deadline.

The Minister also indicated that 2,221 social housing units were built by the NHDC and 136 by the NEF in 2015-2020. 154 houses are about to be handed over to beneficiaries , while 278 houses will be delivered in the coming months in Calebasses, Montagne Longue, Camp Fouquereaux and Baie du Tombeaux . In addition, 678 homes will be handed over to beneficiaries at the end of the year, 1,717 in 2021 and 1,427 in 2022.

He also recalled that his Ministry plans to organise a National Forum to develop a strategy to help the most vulnerable section of the society.

According to him, having decent housing is a fundamental right and a legitimate aspiration, but that it must be done in accordance with the principles of social justice and equal opportunities. On that note, he dwelt on the illegal occupation of state lands, which he deplored  hinders the development of the country  for the benefit of the population at large.

He spoke about Government’s  decision to act against the sudden and exponential increase in squatters who violated curfew law during the Covid-19 pandemic, whereby some 170 squatters  erected illegal structures on state land in two weeks.

The Minister  underlined that the Ministry of Health and Wellness  is waiting for two state lands, at Roche Bois and St François Xavier in Port Louis, to be freed from squatters, to enable the construction of health centers, which he added will undoubtedly  benefit the entire population.

Also, he announced that his Ministry intends to revise the criteria concerning the requests for social housing so as to support the most vulnerable according to social trends such as the rising feminisation of poverty.

 

Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org  Mobile App: Search Gov

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