An online service was launched Monday to submit applications for government housing schemes as President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih decided to form a new corporation to provide affordable housing.
Launched by Housing Minister Aminath Athifa, the Magey Hiyaavehi portal was designed by a group of developers enlisted by the National Center for Information Technology.
Applicants must create an eFaas account used to seek government services online.
Ali Solih, state minister for communication, science and technology, told the press the website would not crash regardless of the number of users.
Providing an online service to apply for housing was a target of the first 60-day action plan of the new administration. Last year, hundreds of people queued up outside the housing ministry for hours to apply for the previous government’s flagship housing scheme.
In October, people waited in queues overnight for a chance to buy plots of land from Hulhumalé.
After decades of internal migration to the capital, the long lines underscored the demand for housing in the overcrowded 2.2-square mile island of Malé, where most people live in slum-like conditions and many families share a single room.
Resolving the housing crisis was a key campaign pledge of President Solih.
But despite launching the online service, there are no housing schemes at present and users can only register.
On Monday, President Solih met with members of a committee formed to investigate alleged wrongdoing and unfairness in the allocation of flats under the previous administration’s housing schemes.
The committee briefed the president on their workplace and issues flagged during the investigation. As requested by the president, the committee decided to hold a press conference in the near future to inform the public about their findings, the president’s office said.
Also on Monday, the president’s office announced the formation of a new company called ‘Fahi Dhirulhun Corporation,’ which would “consider housing need assessment reports and use fair and trustworthy policies in fulfilling housing needs with adequate environment and resources.”
On the same day, the government meanwhile cancelled notices to grant plots of land on nine islands. The announcement was made by the previous administration ten days before September’s presidential election.
Applicants were asked to bypass councils and submit forms to the housing ministry or its public works divisions set up on islands.
The newly-formed national planning and infrastructure said island and city councils would award plots in the future. It is unclear when the land grant announcement would be made.