MINISTRY LAUNCHES NEW ONLINE COMPLAINTS AND SERVICE REQUESTS PORTAL FOR THE INFORMAL SETTLERS
Tuesday 15 June 2021- Informal Settlers around the country now have a more convenient way to contact the Ministry of Housing and Community Development regarding their complaints or service requests following the launch of Ministry’s new Informal Settlement Online Complaints and Service Requests Portal.
The portal will enable those living in informal settlements to reach out to the Ministry without leaving their homes. This is a critical part of the Ministry’s transformation and service delivery, especially amidst the COVID–19 pandemic.
Minister for Housing and Community Development, Hon. Premila Kumar, stated that with over 250 settlements around the country, this new online portal will assist the Ministry to deliver its services digitally, which will offer exceptional customer experience with quick response time.
The Ministry attends to a large number of complaints and other service requests. On a daily basis, around twenty (20) to fifty (50) Fijians visit our Suva Office.
Since the establishment of this new Ministry in 2018, we have introduced a number of initiatives that are customer centric to improve service delivery. The main reason for this new online service platform is for the informal settlers to communicate with the Ministry as and when they like without having to visit our office,” Hon. Kumar stated.
Hon. Kumar highlighted that the Informal Settlement Upgrade Programme (ISUP) is one key programme where the Ministry is engaged in upgrading settlements with basic facilities so that 99 year lease can be offered to the settlers where a development lease is acquired by the Ministry.
The Ministry also has a dedicated Informal Settlement Monitoring Unit, which attends to various service requests like issuing consent letters for transfer of electricity and water meters, temporary electricity and water connections, approval for urgent house renovations, and complaints related to neighbor disputes, illegal constructions and forceful evictions.
“The new online service is user friendly and can be used by anyone who has access to an internet connection, even with a smart phone. You can log in to the Ministry’s website on www.housing.gov.fj and on the home page there is a “button” to click for Informal Settlement Urgent Services/ Complaints. Once you click on this, it will take you to a simple questionnaire to fill in details of your request. You can also upload all relevant documents/ images on the same form and then press the “submit” button. Once your request is submitted, you will receive a confirmation email. Our team will then be in contact with you to assist in the best possible manner,” Hon. Kumar said.
“During these difficult times, the Ministry intends to maximize its reach to our people and assist them where necessary. The Ministry is also requesting the public not to take advantage of the digital platform by lodging petty complaints against your neighbor. It is also important to note that Ministry will verify information before making decisions and it will not hesitate to take appropriate actions against any falsified applications or documents,” the Minister added.
Hon. Kumar further emphasized that the Ministry is already providing several other services through its online platform such as the Free Download of House Plans and Application for Assistance to Fire Victims.
“To continue serving our customers, the Ministry’s website www.housing.gov.fj includes details of all the assistance programmes managed by the Ministry; application forms for various programmes; details of the settlement upgrade projects and development leases and useful publications such as guidelines on building better,” said Hon. Kumar.
Hon Kumar also added “those who may not have a smart phone or access to internet can either seek assistance from their friends and families to lodge their requests online or simply call us on 330 9918 and seek assistance or write to the Permanent Secretary”.
Fijians can also send queries to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow Fijian Ministry for Housing and Community Development on Facebook page for more updates and information.
For further information please contact:
Mr. Sanjeeva Perera
Ministry of Housing and Community Development
Tel: 3304 364