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'Sister House' case urges efforts in combating corruption in affordable housing

(People's Daily Online)

07:52, January 17, 2013

(Photo/ Beijing News)

Shortly after "Uncle House" was busted, "Sister House" has appeared and attracted widespread attention. She and other three members of her family reportedly own 31 rooms, most of which are located in affordable housing communities.

This incident has exposed the loopholes in the construction, distribution, and management of affordable housing units.

The masses should have benefited much from affordable housing, low-rent housing, and public rental housing projects. However, due to the lack of assets disclosure and social supervision, certain officials have taken advantage of preferential land policies to turn these projects into hotbeds of corruption and rent-seeking tools, which has damaged the interests of the masses and their trust in the government.

The Chinese government has adopted a strict supervision system for the examination and approval, construction, and distribution of affordable housing units, but the system itself is seriously flawed and useless due to massive official corruption. When power is not supervised, inside jobs and corruption will become rampant in various disguised forms and cause great damage to the people's interests.

In order to prevent inside jobs, the Chinese government should enhance information disclosure and promote public bottom-up supervision in addition to internal supervision. The central government has reiterated the importance of the fair and open distribution to the survival of the affordable housing system, and should launch a thorough investigation into all corrupt acts behind the "Sister House" incident. It should serve as a wake-up call to local governments at all levels, so that they will enhance information disclosure and public supervision. Specifically speaking, they should disclose information on the examination and approval of related projects, total investment, and house buying qualifications, in order to strengthen public supervision and eliminate corruption.

Read the Chinese version: “房妹”能否力促经适房反腐. Source: People's Daily. Author: Li Zheng

Related Readings:

>>Former official arrested over property ownership

>>'Uncle House' under investigation

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