The National, Monday July 22nd, 2013
IT is with deep regret that I have to address this housing issue on behalf of long-serving staff members of University of PNG (UPNG) who have served the institution for over 30 years and have lost their houses.
The rights of the current occupants of the concerned premises were not properly addressed before the houses were put up for tender.
To transfer the houses they currently occupy to another tenant is a direct breach of the National Home Ownership Scheme (NHOS) policy guidelines and the National Executive Council’s decision on the government’s sell-off scheme.
The housing policy guidelines clearly state that “all institutional houses outside of the institutional grounds be sold to current sitting tenants”.
The UPNG NHOS committee failed to implement this important criteria when they made the decision to sell the houses.
As incumbent tenants, losing the property to another person is heartbreaking.
After serving many years with UPNG, we have been denied the privilege to purchase the houses we occupy.
Even responses to our appeal received from the previous UPNG NHOS committee chairman did not go down well with us.
What criteria did the committee follow when allocating low-covenant houses?
Why was the distribution of letters to successful bidders done after hours?
These are some of the issues that need clarification.
I conclude that in order for a staff member at UPNG to get accommodation within or off campus, one would have to be connected to the people who make decisions on housing allocation.