Fiji Begins Selection of Private Sector Developer for 3,000 Affordable, Climate-Resilient Housing Units in Viti Levu – IFC
A historic housing project will soon be launched in Fiji, which is expected to mobilize around $200 million in private investment in the country.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is the Fijian government’s lead transaction advisor for this project.
IFC says there are about 250 informal settlements in Fiji, with limited infrastructure and access to essential services such as water and electricity.
It says that as one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change and climate-related disasters, cyclones frequently result in loss of life and cause significant economic damage to Fiji.
National Officer for the Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand, Judith Green, said that at a time when Fiji’s economy has experienced the twin shocks of COVID-19 and a series of natural disasters, This landmark affordable housing project will help mitigate the impacts of adverse climate change in Fiji and help reduce poverty.
According to Green, amid a growing need for affordable housing in Fiji and the Pacific, this public-private partnership will demonstrate the ability of the private sector to successfully develop these crucial properties, helping to create a market in this important area.
She says affordable housing projects like this can deliver multiple benefits by reducing the burden of rents, increasing household disposable incomes, increasing consumption and investment, and ultimately helping to stimulate economic growth and development.
IFC confirms that developers have been invited to express their interest in the housing project, which will provide affordable, climate-resilient housing for 3,000 low- and middle-income families.
The Fijian government has begun the process of engaging with potential developers on this crucial public-private partnership project, which comes at a time when Fiji is in dire need of more affordable and climate-resilient homes, following the twin shocks of COVID-19 and a series of natural disasters have taken a heavy toll on its economy.
Attorney General and Minister of Housing and Community Development Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said ensuring access to adequate housing is not just about financial benefit, it is about ensuring safety, dignity, a sense of belonging and the optimism of families.
He says this public-private partnership financing model with the IFC will enable the construction of multi-storey housing projects across Viti Levu.
According to Sayed-Khaiyum, rather than entrenching residential inequality, these mixed housing units will be made affordable for families at many different income levels.
The project will be developed in the Central and Western Divisions of Fiji, with approximately 3,000 affordable housing units spread over six sites.
The scope includes construction, delivery of affordable housing at a pre-determined price, and maintenance for a specified period. Some associated infrastructure, including access roads, has already been developed by the government at the six sites. The developer will also have the option of building high-end housing on the sites, which can be sold at market value.
A transparent and internationally competitive bidding process will be used to select a developer to build and maintain the units.
In its call for expressions of interest from developers, the government is targeting entities with demonstrable experience in the development and maintenance of affordable housing projects. They can provide detailed information on their experience, including in the area of climate-resilient building technologies.
Since this project was unveiled in 2019, IFC has worked with the Fijian government to design the right model to deliver affordable, climate-resilient, and environmentally-friendly homes.
The homes will be built using EDGE, a global green building certification system created by IFC, which aims to make buildings more resource efficient.