President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom stated that controlling rent prices in the densely populated capital city Male is not the solution to the housing issue, but rather increasing the supply of housing in Male.
While speaking at the presidential debate hosted by Maldives National University, President Yameen stated that everyone who wishes to live in the capital city should be given the opportunity to do so. He also declared the current population in Male as adequate.
"I haven't forced any individual to migrate to Greater Male (Region). What is Greater Male? Do every individual who live in Greater Male own land here? No. If people who migrate to Male are paying rent accordingly, why shouldn't they continue living in Male?", said President Yameen.
He mentioned that he has been constantly questioned about the housing issue in Male, and stressed his belief that controlling rent prices is not the solution for it.
"I've been constantly questioned about the incredibly high rent prices in Male. To this, I say that rent prices can only be deducted if we are able to increase the supply of housing. That is the only well-to-do manner to salvage this issue from an economic standpoint. If we were to pass laws pertaining to this, it will only lead to a barrage of unwanted arrests", said President Yameen.
Applying his economic expertise, President Yameen vehemently affirmed that the supply has to exceed the demand in order to decrease the rent prices in Male.
"The only solution for this is an economic one. That is to exceed supply over demand. This is what I am working towards under the 'Hiyaa' housing project. With this increase in the supply of housing, the rent prices are bound to decrease", said President Yameen.
Furthermore, President Yameen highlighted that he will be giving individuals an opportunity for affordable living in Male.
"Therefore, this is going to be a choice I offer for the people who pay extremely high rent to live in Male. A choice of whether they will choose to remain in Male with unaffordable rent prices, or if they will choose to join me along for our housing program in Hulhumale", said President Yameen.