Housing website for Maldives


Some of the houses on Malé are built in imitation of those in Colombo. Most residential units throughout the country have brick walls, some of which are also …


HDC to Finance and Undertake the Dredging and Reclamation Of 4 Residential Islands In Maldives and to Facilitate Dredging & Reclamation of Government …


December 2008: Housing has become so scarce in the capital Male’ that a quarter of all families share just one room, according to a major new report by the …


405-Maldives A joint report with the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives on the difficult housing situation in the Maldives. Download …


Maldives – especially Malé, faces acute housing shortage with a long waiting period, high population density and inadequate infrastructure facilities. In order to …

Some of the houses on Malé are built in imitation of those in Colombo. Most residential units throughout the country have brick walls, some of which are also plastered, and roofs of galvanized metal sheets. The poorest homes are made from thatch and sticks. According to a 2000 housing census, there were about 43,556 residential units nationwide. About 96% were detached dwellings. About 325 were apartments. The average dwelling size is from three to six rooms. About 48% of all dwellings had been built from 1990–2000. Nearly 68% of the population relies on rain water as a primary source of water; 43% of all dwellings have septic tanks. About 84% of households have electric lighting, but firewood and oil are the primary heating and cooking fuels.

Rising sea levels and coastal erosion, both wrought by climate change, threaten the viability of Maldives, but overcrowding and other impacts are already felt by the island nation’s 300,000 people, a United Nations independent expert cautioned today.

After an eight-day visit to country, Raquel Rolnik, Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, said that “Maldives and its Atolls, because of their unique geological and topographic aspects and their fragile and delicate environmental system, are already experiencing the impacts of climate change.”

This jeopardizes the survival of the nation, which could be inundated by water, but more immediately, it jeopardizes the right to housing due to the scarcity of land.

Ms. Rolnik stressed the responsibility of the international community to urgently support adaptation strategies, noting that “the post-2004 Indian Ocean tsunami reconstruction process in Maldives can be a source of precious lessons.”

Over the past four years, donors and agencies have mobilized over $400 million in aid, but the Rapporteur voiced concern over the allocation of the resources and their management by Maldivian authorities.

“In the new resettlement sites that I visited, I detected a lack of participation in the decision-making process concerning relocation, the design of new houses and the infrastructure, which resulted in new structures that were not always compatible with the livelihood of the communities,” she said.

Additionally, the expert noted that the tsunami may have been used by authorities as an opportunity to relocate communities, which has provoked serious conflicts. Today, there are still 3,500 people uprooted by the 2004 disaster who are still living in temporary shelters.

The reconstruction process has also resulted in a surge in the price of construction materials, putting upward pressure on rental prices and aggravating overcrowding.

Over 80,000 migrants from Bangladesh and other South Asian countries live in Maldives, with half of them working in the construction sector, and the Rapporteur said she was concerned over their housing and living conditions.

She called for a “human rights-based approach” to address the housing situation in the country, calling for the Government and international organizations to promote public participation in making key decisions.

Ms. Rolnik, who reports to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council, took up her post last May and serves in an independent and unpaid capacity, as do all Special Rapporteurs.

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