Wed, 18 Oct 2000

City to rid low-cost apartments of well-off

JAKARTA (JP): The Jakarta administration will take action against well-off people residing in low-cost apartments, which were partly subsidized by the administration and were purposely built for city residents in the middle- to lower-income brackets, an official said on Tuesday.

"All low-cost apartments in the capital will be checked (by administration officials) and where they are occupied by people who have no place being there, (those people) will be evicted," deputy governor for development affairs, Budihardjo Sukmadi, told reporters as quoted by Antara.

"There are many people in the city who have no homes."

Postgraduate lecturer for development studies at the Bandung Institute of Technology Parwoto said the ownership of nearly 40 percent of low-cost apartments, built by the Jakarta administration since 1980, have changed hands.

"In Bendungan Hilir, Central Jakarta, for instance, many city officials now own the apartments, and lease them out to well-off people at unbelievable rates," Parwoto said.

He added that many low-cost apartments have also been left empty in the capital, citing, for instance, 428 apartment units in Tanah Tinggi, Central Jakarta.

Budihardjo said the capital needed at least 1.9 million low- cost apartment units. The city currently has a total of 1.3 million units.

The question of the low-cost apartments has been a problem for the city administration.

In July, a delegation of some 30 tenants from the Penjaringan low-cost apartments in North Jakarta protested the daily rent increase by city-owned property developer PD Sarana Pembangunan Jaya.

The PD Sarana Pembangunan Jaya management, however, said that the hike was inevitable as it had to cover the subsidies for tenants, which amounted to 40 percent of its revenue, and also to anticipate possible losses.

The fee varies according to the apartment's size and type. A flat of 18 square meters, for example, rents for Rp 1,200 (13 US cents) to Rp 2,550 a day. The new rental fee has been set at between Rp 2,100 and Rp 3,240 a day.

The company manages 3,300 low-cost apartments in seven locations in the city. Other locations are the Pondok Kelapa, Pondok Bambu, and Cipinang subdistricts in East Jakarta, and the Jati Rawa Sari, Karang Anyar and Tambora subdistricts in Central Jakarta. (ylt)