NHC boss slams media

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NATIONAL Housing Corporation (NHC) managing director John Dege says he is “always on the wrong side of the story” when trying to carry out his duties.
Dege made this remark last Friday when giving his presentation during the head of departments meeting at the Igam military barracks in Lae.
The NHC has come under scrutiny recently in Parliament over allegations of forced eviction of tenants and selling of government houses to well-to-do people in dubious circumstances.
This has prompted Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to order an investigation into NHC affairs.
“I need to consecrate myself because I have been found guilty by the newspapers,” Dege said.
“I am always the victim.
“I am always on the wrong side of the story.
“What if someone stayed in your house for more than 10 years without paying rent? What would you do? What would be the most logical thing to do?
“Unless you have lost your sanity, if I were you, I will have to chase them out, they are liabilities.
“This is the essence of the case with the housing corporation.”
Dege said when tenants were evicted for not paying their rent, they tended to go to the media to accuse the NHC of foul play.
He reiterated that funding was always an issue with NHC but the people who were in charge of these funds were always asking the corporation for houses.
“Where is the logic?” Dege said.
Dege said the country needed about 5000 houses to be built in Port Moresby to prevent “urban villages” from springing up.
He said housing was an important requirement under the United Nations Charter on Human Rights and challenged the Government to invest in housing.
“Housing has been looked at as a non-economic ministry and has not been funded by successive governments,” Dege said.
He said NHC had embarked on a number of ambitious projects, which included the development of the Duran Farm in Port Moresby, taking out a nationwide corporate evaluation and rolling out a social housing scheme throughout the country.