Four Members of Parliament (MPs’) are the first occupants of the newly built housing estate at Maromaro in west Honiara.
However, the 4 MPs, which can not reveal, are not occupying the first 50 houses built for public servants but they are living in four of newly additional 23 houses built by the developer.
This was the response made to SBMOnline by the Ministry of Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration following concerns raised by some members of the public that some MPs’ are now living and owning houses meant for public officers.
Whilst confirming that the MPs are now residing there, the Ministry says they occupy four houses of 23 additional houses built by the developers.
The Ministry reiterates that only four MPs are now living there.
“They actually moved in during the unrest (November 2021) for their safety purposes. The arrangement was directly done with the developer. However, that does not mean to say that they are occupying four houses out of the 50 houses meant for public servants,” the ministry says.
It adds those four houses are part of the additional houses built amongst the 50 houses.
“Processes of formalising their ownership is currently underway. They have no choice but to buy and own those houses,” the ministry says.
“In fact, early next we are expecting to select the first 50 public servants that will be offered a home under the “Rent To Own” arrangement. Detail on this arrangement and processes will be enforced as soon as Cabinet approves the guidelines and contract agreements,” the ministry says.
Meanwhile the ministry says a revised design and land area has been considered and endorsed by the Mamara Council/Board—meaning if the government/public wish to purchase houses then they can approach the developer.
The government has already paid most of the money for the first 50 houses which will be allocated to public servants in a “Rent To Own” arrangement.
The Mamara- Tasivarongo- Mavo development is recognised through an Act of parliament known as Mamara- Tasivarongo- Mavo Agreement Act.
The Act, amongst other things, details the manner in which development will occur on the stretch of Mamara- Tasivarongo- Mavo land.
The Act gives certain powers to a council that is charged with the responsibility to oversee the development of the area.
The development starts this year after more than 25 years’ of stalemate.