Prime Minister Peter O'neill is disappointed over unlawful evictions

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has summoned his Housing Minister Paul Isikiel and the National Housing Corporation Managing Director, John Dege over the eviction of tenants of the Waigani Hostel on Saturday.

The duo met with the Prime Minister at his Parliament office yesterday.

Police Commissioner, Tom Kulunga and Chief Secretary, Manasupe Zurenuoc were also present at the meeting.

Mr O'Neill expressed disappointment that tenants were evicted on Saturday despite his direction that no eviction be carried out pending the development of a long term public housing plan by NHC.

The Prime Minister made it clear that he did not want to see any people evicted with no alternatives provided. 

He said even if they have lived there illegally and have not been paying rent, they must be treated with dignity and respect when relocating them.

Mr O'Neill told the Police Commissioner the use of excessive force by police in conducting the eviction was unnecessary. 

He stressed that lawful tenants who have been up to date with their rental fees be given a repatriation fee of K10,000 and be allocated suitable land to build and own their own houses. 

Mr Ó'Neill also directed that Minister for Housing to appoint a permanent Board of NHC and a permanent Managing Director quickly to provide direction and develop a housing strategy for government. 

He said as part of the long term strategy, a comprehensive audit of assets of NHC including land will be undertaken. 

The minister is expected to provide this strategy to Cabinet when ready. NBC
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