More than 800 ‘cheaters’ must give up allocated low-cost units

A total of 838 applicants who got affordable housing reserved for low-income folk despite already owning homes or earning an income above the qualifying limit will have to give up the units.

Penang’s newly formed Selection Process Enhancement Committee (SPEC) for affordable housing will trace these applicants to serve notices on them to give up the units.

SPEC head Jagdeep Singh Deo said the action would serve as a warning to future applicants not to cheat the state government as these homes were allocated for the poor.

“The 2009 Auditor-General’s Report stated that 816 applicants for affordable housing in the state had their applications approved although they already owned homes,” he told a press conference in his office in Komtar after a meeting with the SPEC members yesterday.

He said the report also stated that 402 more applicants were found to have incomes above the qualifying limit, of whom 22 were approved.

Jagdeep, who is also state Housing, Town and Country Planning Com-mittee chairman, said SPEC would get the help of the state Housing Department to track down the 838 offenders.

He said SPEC would initiate legal action against them if they insist on keeping the units, adding that the committee would find out why their applications were approved.

He said the qualifying limit for the affordable homes was a household income of RM2,500 or less for low-cost units and RM3,500 or less for low-medium cost units.

Jagdeep explained that applicants who applied for these units despite already owning other property or having income above the qualifying limit had committed perjury.

Asked whether the applicants would get a refund for the units if they had paid for them, he said SPEC would deal with the matter when they reached that stage. He did not reveal how much the units cost.

Jagdeep said SPEC would meet again next week and notices would be sent out to the offenders soon after.

Other members of SPEC are Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi, Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin, Tanjong MP Ng Wei Aik and Bukit Tengah MP Ong Chin Wen.

The committee was set up with the aim of enhancing the effectiveness of the allocation process for those who are eligible for affordable housing in the state. - By SIMREN KAUR (The Star)

1 comment

June 9, 2013 at 1:12 PMHo

Good move... those married couples without a owning a house should also be given priority compared to singles.