NHC: Illegal tenants costly

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 06th December 2011

THE National Housing Corporation is losing thousands of kina in
revenue to illegal tenants living in its properties, the corporation’s acting managing director, Tarcissius Muganaua, says.
Muganaua said the problem had put the corporation in a position where it could no longer sustain its operations and had to depend on
government for funding.
“Many tenants are not paying their rents. We are finding it hard to operate when this is happening,” he said.
He said for the North Waigani hostel alone, the corporation lost around K200,000 per year in rentals.
“This applies to another 144 properties we have in NCD, which are occupied by illegal tenants,” he said.
He claimed service providers had taken the NHC to court often because of outstanding arrears owed to them. 
And he said the “illegal tenants” were people who sub-leased the property from the original tenants.
Muganaua said the problem was getting out of hand and drastic measures were needed to be taken to reverse the situation.
He said the value of properties had changed over the years and the NHC needed to adjust its rental rates to recoup some of its liabilities.
He said that had not happened as staff sometimes faced stiff resistance from illegal tenants when they went to inspect properties.
He said the lack of a “national housing policy” over the years had resulted in successive governments turning a blind-eye to the needs of the corporation.