ACC renews call for halt to issuance of 4,000 flats

State Minister for Housing, Chairperson of Land and Flat Committee Akram Kamaluddin confronted by protestors on November 5, 2023. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Shaathiu)

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has renewed its call for a halt to the handover of the first 4,000 flats under the ‘Gedhoruveriya’ housing scheme, as it investigates multiple complaints over how points were awarded.

The recent call came shortly after the Housing Ministry republished the permanent list of recipients of the ‘Gedhoruveriya’ scheme on Wednesday night, following a review of complaints.

The corruption watchdog sent a letter to the the Housing Ministry on Wednesday night, instructing them to suspend the signing of agreements and all other work related to the handover of flats, until informed otherwise by the commission.

In the letter, the ACC said it found that several ineligible applicants were deemed eligible and awarded points.

The commission said it also found instances where several applicants were awarded points in violation of the evaluation policy, and instances of failure to verify information submitted by applicants.

Despite the instructions, the Housing Ministry held a draw among the recipients of the first 4,000 flats on Wednesday night.

The permanent list of recipients of flats under the ‘Gedhoruveriya’ scheme was originally released on November 4.

According to the Housing Ministry, the recipients of the 4,000 units currently under construction by the Fahi Dhiriulhun Corporation (FDC) on list of recipients for three-bedroom flats had all received upwards of 76 marks.

Meanwhile, the recipients of the 4,000 units on the list of two-bedroom flats had all received upwards of 73 marks.

The next day, dozens of protesters gathered at the Housing Ministry to express their displeasure.

They allege the assessment process had been unfair, that some applicants who had resided in Male’ for a fewer period of time had scored higher points, and that some lawmakers from the MDP and their family members were unfairly awarded flats.

The same day, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) instructed a halt to the issuance of the flats as it investigates the complaints. The commission’s officials went to the Housing Ministry to review documents.

President-elect Dr. Mohamed Muizzu also expressed concern over the situation, urging the outgoing administration against rushing the handover of flats during the few days remaining until his administration comes to power.

His office has warned that the new administration will take action if it discovers any wrongdoing.

However, the Housing Ministry said the work would continue as planned.

On Wednesday, the Housing Ministry said that some of the applicants who received 75 points would also receive the first three-bedroom flats, and that a draw would be held for the purpose.