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More than 5,000 forms submitted for Hiyaa flats

Around 40 percent of the Maldives population lives in the capital.



More than 5,000 forms have been submitted for 7,000 flats in the flagship Hiyaa social housing project launched last year by President Abdulla Yameen’s government, local media reported.

More than 43,000 forms have so far been taken since the project was inaugurated in May. The housing ministry says forms will be available from the ministry and on its website until the end of August.

The deadline was previously July 31.

Deputy Housing Minister Ibrahim Nazeem on Wednesday said the deadline was extended to allow more people to have a chance of getting a flat and urged the public to submit the forms at the earliest opportunity.

Housing is a hot-button issue in the Maldives, where around 40 percent of the country’s population lives on the 2.2 square mile capital island of Malé.

Thousands of people from the atolls have migrated to the capital in the past few decades searching for jobs, better education and healthcare, making it one of the world’s most densely populated cities.

The government announced the opening of a registry for people wanting to become residents in Malé and issued a new form for this category under the Hiyaa project.

It was issued following changes to the point scheme in this category to allocate more points based on the period spent as a Malé resident on the registry and period living in Malé.

It is a campaign pledge of the current administration to provide affordable housing to people registered in Malé, with 1,044 flats set aside for them when the government announced the Hiyaa project.