Housing initiative for FCS officers

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HOUSES and plots of land have been secured for officers of the Fiji Corrections Service who are nearing retirement.

This is part of an initiative designed to provide housing for retiring officers. The initiative is the brainchild of former FCS commissioner Ifereimi Vasu.

On a visit to inspect the development of land at Natogadravu, FCS Acting Commissioner Kameli Ratuvakalevulevu said they wanted the officers to witness the progress of work at the site.

“We are here to follow up and ensure the process moves along because this concerns the welfare of the officers. It is a concern to us because in the past, we’ve had officers who retire and have no proper place to stay, some of them end up staying in squatter settlements.

“So to avoid that, this initiative is designed to secure a permanent and proper place for them to stay when they retire,” said Mr Ratuvakalevulevu.

Among the benefits of the initiative, the FCS has offered to pay a 5 per cent deposit for housing loans, however, deductions are made over a period of time from the officer’s salary to make up for the deposit.

“The staff are our asset so we are committed to providing assistance to them in any way we can. We have about three to four retirees every year and this initiative will gradually be introduced to the other divisions,” said Mr Ratuvakalevulevu.

FCS properties manager Oliver Fisher said the initiative ensured officers started working towards owning a home at least 15 years before they retired.

“The ultimate objective is that every officer owns a home or land before they retire. So far, 18 officers have been piloted into this initiative. We facilitate the acquisition of land and also arrange for pre-approved loans for the officers,” he said.

Mr Fisher said houses had also been secured at Lagilagi Housing Estate for 10 officers who are expected to receive the keys to their homes in October this year.


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