Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Housing policies of 3 leading candidates

"Poorly planned urban neighborhoods are associated with petty crimes such as graffiti and vandalism", Patricia Brantingham writes in Harvard Internal Review. It's not just petty crime that happens in Male neighborhoods, but serious crimes like knifing and drug trafficking. Bad as this may be, crime is not the top problem for most Male citizens. It's housing shortage. Let us see what three leading candidates, Anni, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Hassan Saeed, offer them in their respective manifestos.

In reviewing these promises one must consider each candidate's understanding of the issue, what solutions he offers and how feasible they are. In considering economic feasibility one must keep in mind that the total revenue generated by the Government in 2008 is expected to be about $800 million. Against this, the proposal to build 7000 to 8000 flats will cost about $600 million at current rates. The bridge to Hulhumale is expected to cost at least $ 250 million. Developing an additional Hulhumale like city is expected to cost about $ 500 million. Considering such figures, an anonymous visitor to this blog left a comment saying, "some of the promises are so outrageous that a 10 year old kid will not believe them!"

Here are the salient features of the housing and urban development pledges of the three leading candidates:

How they see the Problem:

  • Anni believes that the housing crisis is the result of the government's failed atoll development policies, which led to in-migration towards Male. Wasting $ 50 million on Hulhumale, the government has failed to find a solution to the congestion in Male Anni says. Due to lack of an effective policy or regulatory framework there is no access to an affordable real estate market.
  • Hassan Saeed believes that the key issues are increasing rents and shortage of housing, which is aggravated by unfair regulations in the allotment of flats. The housing problem is accompanied by Lack of basic services, environmental vulnerability and division of the population.
  • Gayoom believes that the housing problem is the result of population increase and in-migration to Male.
  • All three candidates acknowledge that it is a serious issue that tsunami victims have not been provided housing even after 4 years.

Population consolidation

  • Gayoom promises to build 7500 flats (1500 per year) in Hulhumale and build a bridge to connect it with Male. In the meanwhile Male will be re-developed and two alternative cities will be developed with flats and facilities similar to Hulhumale. Land reclamation will be undertaken in selected islands.
  • Hassan Saeed promises to build 4 cities like Male, with the provision of 5000 – 8000 flats in those cities.
  • Anni does not promise to build cities. Instead he will take long term measures to develop the atolls and provide housing, employment opportunities and other basic services, so that the atoll population will have no need to migrate to Male. A land use plan will be developed for each inhabited island.
Real estate business
  • Gayoom promises to encourage the development of real estate business in the private sector, with long-term financing. He will strengthen/develop housing regulations.
  • Hassan promises to stop making profits from essential services like housing. He will draft fair regulations on housing.
  • Anni promises to facilitate the development of housing in the private sector by providing building material in the islands, facilitating loans, and developing regulations.
Tsunami housing
  • Anni and Gayoom promise to compete tsunami housing in one year.
  • Hassan Saeed promises to complete tsunami housing within a definite time
Social housing
  • All three candidates promise long term loans and subsidized housing for the vulnerable groups.


Anonymous said...

None of these candidates have solid credible idea on hosing problem in Maldives. The problem in Maldives is not about housing, its wide spread corruption,and nepotism thats the route cause of every problem in Maldives.

Anonymous said...

You have left out republican party i think fearing them

Anonymous said...

If you look at carefully to Dr. Hassan's manifesto will find solution for corruption and nepotism. So read first candidate manifestos then comment.

Nazeer said...

If anyone is trying to run or…
is running the most sleaziest, no firmness and the most negative presidential campaign we are about to see, by setting new lows with lies and tactics more of the same culture of dishonesty and division that has broken the Maldivians dream so very badly to this day, with desperate personal attacks.
Can these people ever be the men for the change, unless honesty takes over corruption?

Athena said...

I don't feel confident in their abilities to deliver their promises or meet any of those deadlines.

PLUS I still don't they that they really understand the plight of the normal folk or really know where to start, or the complexity of the problems we as Maldivians face.

Anonymous said...

If we look closely at their policies we can see that none of them understands the 'reality' when they boast to the public. We are now facing a 'housing problem' because we did not see the signs. we did not see it coming. But now are we financially capable of providing 1500 flats per year wen we cant provide 500 a year. will the tradition of in-migrating stop just because anni says he can provide better facilities than male. can he do it in 5 yrs. by stopping the so called unfair regulations can hassan saeed cure this sickness. still we Maldivians are the same. we leave the reality aside and go for our own gain. what has changed is that now we are letting the whole world know of our needs yet we dont even understand what we are shouting about.