News

National Housing Estates Limited failing to file tax returns for 10 years

The National Housing Corporation and its subsidiary, the National Housing Estate Limited have been criticized for lack of compliance to business practice.

Affected tenants who were evicted from their lodgings have raised the concern.

Some lived at these places for more than a decade.

The allegations come at the back end of the both organizations wielding their authority, with the full backing from Housing and Urban Development Minister Justin Tkatchenko to “pay up or move out.”

Elizabeth Bowada, Minister Justin Tkatchenko, Madelin Paulisbo

Displaced tenants have raised concerns that the National Housing Estate has not been fully operational having effective systems in place and worst as a company, it has not filed annual returns for more than a decade.

A check with the Internal Revenue Commission and an official confirmed the NHEL incorporated in 2010 has not filed annual corporate returns since then.

The company has not filed salary and wages tax as well.

The acting managing director is Madeline Paulisbo and Internal Revenue Commission records say she is the current contact person.

We contacted their office and their public relations department but they could not be reached.

The IRC official said the company should file nil returns even if it was not making profits.

Five families around the 5 Mile, Henao Drive area in Port Moresby were last week week evicted as a result of defaulting their rentals, one had arrears up to K30,000.

The family of nine, including father and mother, humbly moved out and the mother admitted guilt of failing to pay and in several circumstances paying by cash to company employees who produced stamped receipts a day later.

She now realised the money never went to the company.

Minister Tkatchenko on Tuesday said: “The national executive council (NEC) has changed the ownership and shareholding of NHEL and NHC is now the major share holder and will be working together under one umbrella and not separate anymore.”

“They are now working together to develop and maintain all the properties owned by the two entities as it makes it easier to develop housing in PNG,”

The concern from affected tenants at 5 Mile, Henao Drive was that most have outstanding arrears that could not be settled immediately and the company was not functioning orderly and complying with tax compliances, they could work out something mutual, beneficial and keeping all records clean.

“We have been paying rent, and we have already discussed these issues with NHEL, yet we are continuously bullied and harassed by police and NHEL staff,” said committee leaders.

“Minister for Housing Justin Tkatchenko promised no evictions, yet we have been thrown out of our homes again,” they said.

“NHEL has continued to be in breach of its tenancy agreement as well by failing to maintain these properties. It cannot be always a one sided affair with NHEL, they need to step up and play their role as the landlords and maintain the properties.”

Committee Leaders have called on the Metropolitan Superintendent for Police, Member for Northeast John Kaupa and Minister Housing Justin Tkatchenko, CEO Madelin Paulisbo to meet with them.