Officials should keep out of affordable housing
Updated: 2013-01-05 19:30
BEIJING - Government-subsidized residential projects designed for low-income groups have become another battlefield for the fight against corruption in China.
The latest case involves a former director of the housing administration bureau in a district of Zhengzhou, capital of Henan Province. He and his family own 29 apartments, and 11 are said to fall into the affordable housing category.
Though most families in China's major cities are struggling to buy a single modest apartment, officials have easily amassed dozens and some have taken away housing units specifically intended for disadvantaged groups.
Affordable housing applicants have long outnumbered available units, which are usually sold at a fraction of the local market price, fanning suspicion and murmurs about corruption in the distribution process.
Given the public's high expectations that low-cost apartments will improve the living conditions of the poor, it has become increasingly urgent for discipline authorities to put more systematic measures in place to stop officials from taking slices of this pie.
Effectively curbing corruption in this field will help consolidate the image of a government resolute in its efforts to protect the people's well-being, as many Chinese have become extremely sensitive to skyrocketing housing prices and any mishandling of housing resources.
To achieve this goal, a much stricter system is needed to restrict the power of any single person in the distribution process of affordable housing units.