Ban on NHC house sale

A blanket ban will be put on the sale of all National Housing Corporation properties until all assets of the NHC are taken stock of.

Housing and Urbanization Minister, Justin Tkatchenko, announced the ban when taking over the ministry from former Minister John Kaupa.

Ministers in the Marape-Steven cabinet will have a hectic six months to get their houses in order, given the six months performance based ministries allocated to them.

Minister Tkatchenko has started with a blanket ban on the sale of all NHC properties, as well as evictions.

He said as of Wednesday, they will do a blanket ban throughout the country so that they can get an idea of the asset base of all the land and houses that come under the National Housing Commission.

“I need to know this,” he said.

“And there’ll be no evictions whatsoever. Anybody that tries to evict innocent Papua New Guineans out of their homes will be dealt with accordingly,” he added.

The giveaway scheme will also eventuate.

“And I want to see before the end of the year those houses through the giveaway scheme, are finally given to those people who have been desperate for it for so many years. Let’s make that happen for our people on that giveaway scheme who are part of that.”

Tkatchenko said low income earners will also be able to have proper housing.

“The Prime Minister has indicated to me that he would like to see low income earners, the 80 percent of our people in the country, have proper housing at a cost that they can afford. This will be one of our objectives.

“And I’m very keen to make that happen with the new Lands Minister, Honourable John Rosso, who will work with me to ensure there is land available throughout PNG for low cost housing.”

The National Housing Corporation has had a lot of challenges in recent years, alleged illegal sale of properties to the failed Durand farm and outstanding debts from tenants of its properties.

“National Housing Commission is a massive challenge, as we all know it’s a disaster at the moment. It’s a disaster and my dear brother John Kaupa did his best when he was there,” continued Tkatchenko.

Meantime, Kaupa said: “We worked tirelessly, it’s been a hard time. In Housing Corporation it’s a lot of mess here. But I have cleaned some of them, some of them have not been cleaned up, I think my brother will come and do the rest.”

(Housing and Urbanization Minister, Justin Tkatchenko, left, with outgoing Minister John Kaupa)

Sally Pokiton