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Anti-graft body slams Housing Bureau on housing practices

Group says February release contradicts previous practices on attribution of economic housing for couples married during the waiting period

The local anti-graft body the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) believes that the economic housing laws should be ‘perfected in time’ in order to improve the ‘just, reasonable and efficient’ distribution of housing to those in need.
The statement follows an investigation initiated by the anti-graft body after 27 complaints from candidates for economic housing were received, prompting Legislator Ella Lei Cheng I to also complain to the body.
The results of the investigation found that the contents of a new release by the Housing Bureau (IH) ‘not only contradict the internal instructions that the service itself had emitted on October 12 of 2011 – altering the instructions given to the public and its own practices over the years – but also create the situation in which candidates who have followed the referred instructions could lose their economic housing units which they already occupy’.
The release in question, from February of this year, also ‘refuses the presented requests by candidates who were married during the waiting period so that couples are not considered part of the family household’.
The group notes that despite the intentions of the alteration being to better utilise the housing resources available, the ‘decision by the IH should be taken from the basis of an expressed legal foundation and be in conformity with the respective provisions set out in the law of economic housing’.
The CCAC found that the current law on economic housing does not impose the necessity for members of couples to be considered part of the family household and that the February notice issued by the Bureau ‘has the fundamentals of law and fact [regarding] that interpretation’.
This has led it to announce that the Housing Bureau ‘should accept the requests presented by candidates for economic housing units’ who were married during the waiting period and give them authorisation for ‘sale or purchase’ of the units ‘if all other legal conditions are met’.