I am writing to air the view of many low-income citizens who have inherited or have been gifted a plot of land.
Ironically, the ownership of a piece of land forfeits their rights to the government’s resettlement or housing programme.
As a result, many find themselves in a rock and a hard place, not quite sure when they would be able to fulfil the dream of building their own house.
According to the new conditions set by the authorities, there is no difference between commercial and private buildings; neither is the financial state of the land owner, geographical location nor topographical conditions of land taken into consideration.
When low-income citizens want to build decent houses on relatively low-risk plots of land – free of soil erosion and flooding – the conditions put upon them are beyond comprehension.
Imagine having to take a BND90,000 loan for the house only to learn that some BND11,000 has to be put aside to meet the requirements set by the authorities, which include paying BND2,000 for a land surveyor to sand fill the land, BND6,000 for the architect, and BND3,000 for a structural engineer.
Does anyone then wonder why people would rather sell their land to qualify for government’s resettlement or housing scheme, so they could realise their dream of home ownership?
Should the authorities not be able to waive the requirements for certain categories or locations, perhaps these professionals’ fees could be borne or subsidised?
After all, the cost for allowing these low-income citizens to build their dream house would be lower than to fund a government’s resettlement or housing programme.