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December 21, 2009

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Cheats on low-cost homes face crackdown

UNSCRUPULOUS people who apply for budget housing in Shanghai now face a much more rigorous financial check and those trying to cheat the system will have their names added to a credit black list.

It has emerged that many people who seek budget housing vastly underplay their financial circumstances.

The most blatant cases have been two families who owned luxury vehicles "crying poor" and seeking home assistance.

One of these families had a Mercedes-Benz and the other a BMW.

City housing officials said yesterday that people applying for budget homes must expect a thorough examination of their declared assets.

Alarm bells

New rules have been approved which pinpoint seven dishonest conditions that will ring alarm bells, according to the city's checking center for residents' economic conditions.

The seven offences that will lead to further action are:

If the per capita annual dispensable income exceeds 27,600 yuan (US$4,042) or the per capita property value exceeds 70,000 yuan;

If the difference between the real per capita annual dispensable income and the income filled in the application form exceeds 5,000 yuan;

If the difference between the real per capita property and that filled in the application form exceeds 10,000 yuan or the applicants own undeclared vehicles or real estate;

If bank accounts contain more than the amount claimed in the application form;

If securities accounts are understated;

If social-insurance payments don't match the amount on the application form; and

If applicants are suspected of transferring property during the application process.

Wei Qing, director of the checking center, said if financial discrepancies were found between details provided and actual circumstances the offending applicants would first be contacted and informed of the possibility of being included on an official black credit list.

"If the applicant doesn't quit the application immediately, we will recheck his or her conditions within 60 working days to determine the economic conditions of his or her family," the director said.

By the end of June, the center processed 9,197 reports of family economic conditions on those who applied for budget houses.

Checks found 3,226 families understated their worth.

Of these 3,226 families, 57 owned vehicles, including the Mercedes-Benz and the BMW.

Those who receive a per capita monthly income of less than 960 yuan and whose family property is valued at less than 120,000 yuan are officially eligible for budget housing in Shanghai.


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