Public Rental Board was separated from the Housing Authority in 1989 due to World Bank recommendations. The Bank’s analysis revealed that there was a need for a body corporate to monitor the rental flats for the underprivileged tenants.

The Public Rental Board (PRB) was established on 16th May 1989 under the Housing (Amendment) Decree No 12 of 1989 which included 24 rental estates comprising 1,753 rental flats. The Housing (Amendment) decree is part of the Housing Act of 1955. The Board was established to provide affordable rental flats to low income earners on a transitional basis without incurring a loss. From its inception the Board has continually struggled to operate profitably on an annual basis after a negative asset of $11,322,000 was transferred into PRB books.

Under section 34 of the of the Housing (Amendment) Decree No 12 of 1989 the Board is primarily to operate on a non- commercial basis by inviting Government to make good the shortfall (where the assessed rental applicable to a tenancy represents a disproportionate percentage of earnings) by way of subsidy.

On 3rd April 1997, the Public Rental Board was declared a Commercial Statutory Authority under the Public Enterprises Act 1996. As a Commercial Statutory Authority, the Public Rental Board was required to operate along commercial lines and be profitable and efficient as comparable businesses that are not owned by the state.

The PRB operates under a predefined definition of their customer. It has emerged that there is a need to:

  • Promote transitional housing under the National Housing Policy
  • Re-assess customer profile and better determine the capacity to pay rent
  • Determine precisely the subsidy amount required and distributed according to subsidy criteria
  • Determine the true demand for public rental housing. This is a complex task and requires specialists to, at least, design the surveys and analyse the outcomes hence will take time to complete. This exercise may result in a shift in the definition for PRB from lower to middle income earners.

The PRB is owned by Government and managed by Board of Directors. The Board’s operations are undertaken by staff of Public Rental Board. Currently 1,554 rental flats are rented or available for renting at any given time from 20 rental estates. The organisation has continued to face shortfall in the supply of rental units especially in the greater Suva area.

The Board has three offices throughout Fiji. The Head Office is located at Housing Authority Building in Valelevu, Suva with 2 divisional offices in Lautoka and Labasa.