Malé, Maldives – Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure on Sunday opened applications for 3,000 plots of land and 4,000 apartments in the greater Malé area aimed exclusively towards Malé born individuals and those who are registered in Malé.
Speaking at a ceremony to launch the “Gedhoruveriya” portal, Minister of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure Mohamed Aslam stated that 3,000 land plots will be allocated for free from Hulhumalé and Gulhifalhu.
The government has introduced housing solutions for Malé natives centralized in the Malé area under six schemes. The schemes can be joined individually or jointly as a family.
The smallest land plots will be 1,225 sqft [for individuals]. 400 sqft will be added per individual for joint applications with 4,000 sqft being the maximum.Planning Minister Aslam
Minister Aslam further stated that those who have lived in Malé for over 15 years and Malé natives can apply for flats in Hulhumalé. These individuals do not have to give up their land plots in the capital city Malé.
Applicants who fulfil the requirements can submit for preferred housing options in Malé at the Gedhoruverin Portal until 26 September 2022.
The Minister has previously outlined four criteria for eligibility for the free land plots;
- Be a native of Malé by birth
- Not have a land bigger than 600 square feet in their name or to be inherited, and if not, give up the land to the government.
- Be registered under ‘dhaftharu’ with no housing ownership
- Malé natives who do not have a residence in Malé
While some Malé natives welcome this initiative, others criticize this campaign stating that it further diminishes the livelihoods of islanders who are forced to migrate to the capital city while living at the mercy of landlords due to century-old centralization policies.
The government is also planning to reclaim land in Gulhifalhu lagoon to provide the aforementioned free housing. On June 16, the government of Maldives signed a loan agreement of EUR 101 million with ABN AMRO Bank N.V., AKA European Export Trade Bank and ING Bank N.V. for the Greater Malé Reclamation Project Phase II.
A case to stop the Gulhifalhu due to environmental damage caused has been in the Civil Court since September 2, 2021.