Housing minister issues warning

All tenants of the National Housing Corporation and National Housing Estate Ltd properties will face eviction if they do not pay rent.

Housing Minister Justin Tkatchenko says the NHC provides the lowest rental properties throughout PNG, where the maximum amount paid per month is K400.

Tkatchenko says he has been tasked to make sure all Papua New Guineans living in the National Housing Corporation and National Housing Estate Ltd properties pay for what they have signed up to do.

“These are properties that are in prime locations – yes, some of them might be rundown – but if National Housing Corporation does not make an income from these properties, and collect rental at the same time, then how can they repair and renovate these houses if they’ve got no money to do so?

“K400 a month is not a lot. I’ve already been told that highly paid public servants that get allowances for rental and car and all these sort of things, still refuse to pay K400 a month for an NHC house. That’s ridiculous. And it’s not on. We all have to work together here.”

Holding up the conditions of tenancy, the Minister said tenants must have these legal documents signed and sealed, or else they will be seen as illegally occupying the NHC and NHEL properties, which leaves room for them to be evicted.

“Now the question is, if you do not pay the rent, what’s going to happen to you? Well unfortunately, under the law, there’s a tenancy agreement act, all the rest, you have 30 days to start paying up. It’s not hard. You just need to commit yourself. You’ve been having a free ride for too long.

“Now NHC must start to be seen making money. At the moment it is making nothing for all those millions of Kina worth of assets and housing throughout the country, it’s making zero percent.

“If NHC was put into a business perspective, they are bankrupt, finished, gone.”

(Housing Minister Justin Tkatchenko holding up the NHC tenancy form)

Carmella Gware