In the upcoming estimated state budget, a substantial allocation of MVR 177 million has been earmarked to cover the rent reduction for Hiyaa flats. This significant financial provision is part of the housing subsidy section and has been proposed by the Finance Ministry as part of the budget package, with the exact figure standing at MVR 177,408,000. The beneficiary of this allocation is set to be Urbanco, the government-owned corporation responsible for the administration of housing in the Maldives.
The revision of rent for Hiyaa flats was officially implemented in late April of the current year, substantially decreasing the rental cost from MVR 7,500 to a more affordable MVR 5,300. Urbanco previously levied an additional monthly maintenance fee of MVR 8,500. This reduction in rent was a response to the concerns of many Hiyaa flat residents who had repeatedly voiced their distress over the exorbitant rental payments.
It is worth noting that the government had previously defended the previous rental rates, arguing that such a substantial reduction in rent was not feasible at the time. The Hiyaa project, consisting of 7,000 flats distributed across 16 towers, was constructed during the tenure of former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom. During his administration, the rent for these flats was originally set at MVR 5,600, with the rental payment period being extended from 25 to 27 years. It is reassuring for tenants that Urbanco has also committed not to impose any additional interest on the extended rental duration, providing some much-needed relief for Hiyaa flat residents.