$1 bn stolen in China housing programme

2013-08-09 13:20

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beijing - China's affordable housing programme lost nearly $1bn to embezzlement last year, the national auditor reported on Friday, underscoring the obstacles to official efforts to fight graft.

About 5.8 billion yuan ($950m) went towards "loan repayment, foreign investment, land requisition and house demolitions, office cash flow and other expenses not related to affordable-housing projects", the National Audit Office said on its website.

A total of 360 projects or organisations "embezzled" the funds, it said.

Sensitive issue

Housing costs - which have spiralled in recent years despite government controls - have become a sensitive issue as ordinary Chinese find themselves struggling to afford a home.

China plans to build 36 million affordable-housing units from 2011 to 2015 and the programme received almost 880 billion yuan last year, the audit office said, constructing 5.9 million units and assisting 9.5 million families.

But 110 000 families produced false documents to qualify for assistance unfairly, it added.

The state news agency Xinhua warned at the start of the year that tackling corruption in the affordable housing programme was "increasingly urgent".

"Many Chinese have become extremely sensitive to skyrocketing housing prices and any mishandling of housing resources," it said in an editorial.

China's new leadership took office in March pledging to work harder to root out graft and improve people's livelihoods.

Among the spate of scandals exposed in their anti-corruption campaign in recent months, several low-ranking officials have been reported to own multiple homes, sometimes in the dozens.

Read more on:    china  |  corruption

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.