The problem related to housing in Mauritius is not new. With climate change causing houses to flood every rainy season, it is imperative to review the issues of land management, land use planning, and the housing plan established in Mauritius. Housing means decent houses with good infrastructure, not a kind of ghettoization of the housing system. To address this theme, the Ki Nouvo Moris set has invited Rajendra Coomar Reedha, the founder of ‘Drwa a enn lakaz’.

An assessment of the housing situation in Mauritius.

Mauritius’ housing policy does not pay tribute to the many international agreements that the island has signed. Indeed, the right to decent housing should be enshrined in the Mauritian constitution to allow everyone to exercise this right fully.

“The right to a decent home should not be political blackmail or a commodity. It is a right with which we were born, as stated in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.”

Are the measures put in place to eradicate the housing problem in Mauritius sufficient?

The founder of ‘Drwa a enn lakaz confides that the measures announced in the budget are palliative and short-term measures. Indeed, it is important to establish a holistic plan for the next 50 years to eradicate the housing problem in Mauritius. Rajendra Reedha says that the budget that has just been presented does not take into consideration the impoverishment suffered by the middle class.

« The government should have removed the tax on building materials for the middle class. It should also have set up a land bank that will act in complete transparency to allow everyone to acquire a plot of land at an affordable price. »

A new housing policy.

The new housing policy must be made considering various factors, such as climatic conditions, social aspects, and culture. The founder of ‘Drwa a enn lakaz’ points out that everyone must live with dignity and, above all, is not allied to their own country.

“It is not possible to call a Mauritian a squatter when this same person was born on this island.”

Some social centers are built in places without ease of transport or water. On top of that, these families are excluded and isolated from the rest of society.

“We must not give the bare minimum to those in need. The social structures built must be able to satisfy the needs of a family. They need privacy, a green space to make a vegetable garden, and even to build an extra bedroom.”

To conclude, the problem related to housing does not seem to decrease over the years; on the contrary, there are more and more Mauritians who struggle to acquire a plot of land to build a house. Nowadays, the demand for housing is divided into two parts: a local demand and a foreign demand. The liberation of the land industry in Mauritius has caused more harm to the working class in Mauritius. Housing affordability has worsened because of this new economic model put in place since 2014, which is largely based on the land industry and real estate development. With smart cities as well as beachfront villas sold at astronomical prices, the ability for a Mauritian to become a homeowner seems to be impossible.

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