HOUSING ASSISTANCE FOR PERSONS LIVING WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
The Ministry of Housing and Community Development is now accepting applications for its new Housing Assistance Program for Persons Living with Special Needs. This is a retro-fit program that focuses on improving the accessibility of housing needs of persons living with special needs (PLSN) in the country.
According to 2017 National Census, about 126,000 Fijians (14 percent of the total population) are living with disabilities in the country.
Hon. Premila Kumar, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Community Development stated that many PLSNs would be able to live normal lives with dignity if a few simple changes were made to their living environment.
“This programme will assist those Fijians living with disability with a maximum grant of up to $5,000.00 per applicant to upgrade their homes to accessible standards. The criteria for qualification is very straight forward – applicant has to be a Fijian Citizen, registered with Department of Social Welfare, member of any affiliated organization of the Fiji National Council for Persons with Disability and should not have received any housing assistance prior to applying for assistance under this program”
Hon. Kumar stated.
Hon Minister also stated, “We do not intend to build new homes under this program but assistance will be provided for the upgrades such as installation of ramps, handrails, accessible toilets including the installation of grab bars to allow access to all basic amenities for PLSN’s. These upgrades will allow PLSN’s smooth access in and around their home environment not only assisting but also giving them a greater level of independence”
Government has allocated $100,000 for this program in the 2021-2022 budget and the Ministry is hopeful that this program will continue to receive support moving forward.
Hon Kumar added, “This demonstrates the Government’s commitments towards the most vulnerable Fijians in the community even in the middle of the current challenging economic conditions. We want to ensure that we assist them better prepare both mentally and physically towards their role in the community as well as work environment.”
Applications are available on the Ministry website and also from the Offices of the Divisional Commissioners, Provisional Administrators, Ministry of Housing and Community Development and the Fiji National Council for Persons with Special Needs. Duly completed applications can be Ministry of Housing and Community Development Korobasaga House 33 Gorrie Street Telephone: (679) 3309918 PO Box 2130 – Government Buildings Suva, Fiji emailed directly to the Ministry through firstname.lastname@example.org
All applications will be vetted by the Ministry and submitted to an independent committee consisting of Manager Grants, Director Social Welfare and CEO Fiji National Council for Persons with Disability for final recommendations.
Those applicants who find difficulty to meet the labor costs will also be assisted through the Ministry’s carpentry team. Applicants will need to request for this and approval will be granted only after a thorough review by the Ministry.
The Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation has also placed its support behind this grant initiative.
Interested applicants can also contact Vula Shaw, Manager – Grants on +679 9905144.
For further information please contact:
Mr. Sanjeeva Perera
Ministry of Housing and Community Development
Tel: 3304 364