The government has initiated discussions to reduce the monthly rental of Hiyaa flats constructed in Hulhumale’ Phase II. The rent for the flats, constructed during the previous government, was set at MVR 8,500 with maintenance fee, which tenants argued was too high. It is reported that the government has decided in principle that the rent of the flats will be reduced to MVR 5,300 per month. An official announcement is expected to be made in the first 10 days of May.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday evening, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said that the government has been discussing the rent of Hiyaa flats for some time and had found ways to provide relief that would not harm current investments. The decision to reduce the rent of Hiyaa flats comes after the Hiyaa Union movement, which advocates for tenant rights, met President Solih in March and requested him to reduce the rent.
President Solih had proposed three ways to reduce the rent of Hiyaa flats during the meeting, according to the union. The first is to cut the rent for a specified period based on the repayment period of loans taken by the tenants for the interior works of the flats. The second is to identify those who find it difficult to pay rent or are in need of it, and reduce rent only for them. The third proposal is to offer a blanket rent cut for tenants after extending the loan repayment period for the flat project from 25 years to 30 years.
The minimum rent offered at Sunday’s meeting was MVR 5,500. The previous government, led by former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, had fixed MVR 5,600 as the rent for the flats, according to the then housing minister Mohamed Muizzu.