BEIJING, July 18 Funds totalling aeveral billion
yuan, meant for the construction of China's public housing, was
misappropriated last year as thousands of homes were allocated
to undeserving families, according to a state audit published on
Corruption in public housing is a sensitive issue as
state-subsidised homes are intended to ease the difficulties of
millions of consumers, for whom home ownership is out of reach
given record property prices.
The National Audit Office found that 9.3 billion yuan ($1.5
billion) of funding set aside for public homes was misused for
unrelated projects through sometimes fraudulent means.
Nearly 8 billion yuan of that sum was used to finance other
projects such as the construction of industrial parks and public
infrastructure, it said.
The remaining 1.3 billion yuan was misappropriated by
agencies or individuals who fraudulently obtained funds intended
for refurbishing shantytowns by submitting false applications.
It was also found that 45,800 public homes and 50.4 million
yuan worth of cash were either awarded, sold or rented to
families that were not eligible for public housing.
Chinese consumers have complained about public homes that
are badly constructed or subject to corruption, with government
officials keeping better-quality apartments for themselves.
The audit, the latest of a series conducted on government
ministries and agencies, covered 33,500 public departments and
It comes in the middle of an anti-corruption drive launched
by President Xi Jinping which has felled some senior officials.
($1 = 6.2075 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Shao Xiaoyi and Koh Gui Qing; Editing by Ron