Jakarta's Subsidized Apartments Left Empty by Red Tape
Ronna Nirmala. The Jakarta Globe, 29/03/2012
Despite the fact that millions of Jakartans rent, more than 4,000 subsidized apartments across the city are still empty.
Jakarta Housing Agency head Novizal told reporters on Thursday that the apartments cannot be sold to the public because the central government has yet to transfer ownership of the property to the city administration.
The apartments were built two years ago.
“The apartments are built by the central government, either through the Housing Ministry or Public Works Ministry. We can’t do anything until they hand them over to us,” he said.
Novizal said that he was preparing documents for the ownership transfers.
“Hopefully, we can offer them to the public this year,” he said.
The low-cost apartment plan was launched by the government in 2005 to create affordable, comfortable apartments for middle- and low-income earners.
The price for a low-cost apartment is between Rp 140 million and Rp 200 million ($15,300 and $21,800).
Novizal said those who can buy the apartments could have a maximum monthly income of Rp 2.5 million. They also need a Jakarta identity card and proof they do not own a house.
Currently, people eligible for subsidized apartments pay as little as Rp 120,000 per month to the city administration.
But Novizal said the central administration and the council have not agreed on how much residents should pay per month if they buy the apartment.
“We are still discussing it. We hope we can agree on something quickly,” he said.
Councillor M. Sanusi, however, denied both sides were discussing the rate of monthly rent.
“We agreed on the bylaws last year. What they don’t have is the gubernatorial decree to support the bylaw,” Sanusi said. “So, the governor should just go ahead and issue a decree.”
Sanusi also questioned why it takes so long to transfer the apartment’s ownership to the city.