NHC officers to be suspended

Housing Minister, Justin Tkatchenko, has recommended the suspension of the National Housing Corporation officers in Lae.

Tkatchenko said they have found out that two of the officers were behind the recent unauthorised evictions in Lae.

Numerous evictions involving National Housing Corporation properties have been conducted over the years.

For Morobe, it is believed that over 15 families have been affected.

The most recent eviction involved four families at Cormorant St, where NHC officials intended to give the properties in question to a Chinese businesswoman in an attempt to offset their debt.

In a joint press conference, Housing Minister, Justin Tkatchenko said the acting managing director of NHC, Elizabeth Bowada, did not sanction the exercise.

“They did it without any consultation or consent of the (acting) managing director or my office,” he stated. “This is being done on very suspicious circumstances for the self-gain of these officers and needs to be fully investigated.”

The two officers, who had maintained that they had acted on direction from the “head office”, will be suspended while an investigation is conducted.

“This is not just the first time,” added Tkatchenko. “Many other provinces have had similar issues where the provincial representative for NHC thinks that they’re a king or a queen of the organisation and can make decisions however they like and sell properties whenever they like.”

For those residents affected by the situation, the Minister said NHC will look after all legal tenants.

Carmella Gware