Ternate, N Maluku (ANTARA News) - The Public Works and Housing Ministry will distribute aid for the slum housing rehabilitation program in Morotai Island District, North Maluku, in 2017 to improve the quality of public housing in the forefront area.

Secretary of the district of Morotai Island Rajak Lotar when contacted from Ternate on Saturday stated that his side was unaware of the total budget being disbursed for implementing the housing rehabilitation program, but he confirmed that there are 300 slum houses on Morotai Island that are in need of renovation.

In 2016, the Ministry of Public Works and Housing had provided a similar assistance to renovate 400 slum houses in the Morotai Island District.

The district government of Morotai Island will seek to repair at least 500 slum houses in 2018 by utilizing the ministrys house repair assistance.

He noted that the government of Morotai Island District highly lauded the assistance offered by the Ministry of Public Works and Housing to renovate the houses, as the local government found it difficult to repair the slum houses by using only its regional budget.

The Morotai Island district government expressed hope that such assistance would continue to be offered to the region, as thousands of slum houses in nine sub-districts in Morotai Island District need to be repaired, including improving the quality of the residents environment.

Meanwhile, Irfan Umasugi, a member of the Regional Legislative Council of North Maluku Province, said the provision of social assistance to society, including the distribution and use of the housing rehabilitation aid for slum houses, must be closely monitored to prevent irregularities in its implementation.

During a visit to several areas, Umasugi said he often received reports from the local people who were given the governments social assistance that the housing rehabilitation assistance was not in accordance with the provisions of the aid and their needs. Hence, the locals complained that the assistance was not sufficient to complete the renovation of their houses to make them habitable.

"The rehabilitation assistance for slum houses is usually provided in the form of building materials worth Rp15 million. However, the materials given to the residents have failed to meet their needs. For instance, they needed 10 sacks of cement, but they were only given six," he added.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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