Officer queries eviction

National, Normal

The National, Friday, 27th May 2011

A SENIOR technical adviser with the Health Department is questioning the role of the National Housing Corporation (NHC).
Martin Evoa said the corporation was evicting public servants and not fulfilling its mandated role of building and providing accommodation for them.
Evoa, from Gulf, is now homeless after being evicted from the NHC property (named) at Tokarara where he has been living for the past 20 years.
He was served an eviction notice on Tuesday and ordered to move out immediately.
The house had allegedly been sold to the pre­vious te­nant, said to be a defaultee.
According to claims, he had left the public service years ago and was now living in Lae, Morobe.
Evoa said what NHC had done to him and his family was an injustice as he was never made aware of the court proceedings that resulted in the contract of sale of the property going to the previous tenant all the time when
he was occupying the property.
“NHC should be providing houses and, with the acute demand for housing, evicting public servants from NHC pro­perties and selling them to private businesses and individuals are not the answer.
“While the Public Employees Association has been vocal about providing better working  conditions and housing allowances for public servants, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet.
Why is NHC selling properties?” Evoa said.
He said this was a worrying trend.
He said he had tried to meet NHC management for negotiations but was ignored.
He said if the national housing provider conti­nued evicting public servants in favour of people with money, “it will demoralise workers”.
He called for an investigation into such matters and suggested the media council stage a public forum to address the viability of the corporation.
In 2006, the previous tenant took Evoa to court but the case was dismissed.
In 2009, the same person took NHC to court resulting in a default judgment being ordered  against NHC.