Nearly $1bn skimmed illegally off China’s social housing program

28 June 2013

China’s top auditor said Thursday that nearly $943m (5.8 billion yuan) in funds meant for low-incoming housing projects was embezzled last year.

Liu Jiayi, auditor general of China’s National Audit Office (NAO), told the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress that cases of mismanagement in China’s historic affordable home-building program had caused homes and funds to fall into the wrong hands, Xinhua reports.

About 18,300 housing units were sold by construction companies, which violates regulations, he said.

And nearly 120,000 households taking advantage of the scheme were found to be unqualified to do so, either because their income was too high or because they managed to amass multiple low-incoming housing units by taking advantage of loopholes, according to Mr Liu.

After the audit, 1.27 billion yuan was recovered and 18,900 households ineligible for low-income units were removed from the list, he added.

China has vowed to build 36 million affordable housing units during the 2011-2015 period to meet demand from low-income families amid skyrocketing property prices.

Source: Xinhua

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