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Shenzhen probe aims to lift lid on inferior housing
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A sub-standard housing project in the city has prompted the local government to launch a probe into whether some officials were guilty of a dereliction of duty.

The government has set up two accountability teams to look at the appalling conditions at the low-income project. One team will look at problems that arose during the design and construction of the third phase of the Taoyuan Estate. The other team, comprised of members of the discipline inspection department, will ask whether government officials and organizations had broken any rules, Southern Metropolis Daily reported on Sunday.

"It will be the most serious accountability. Officials could face punishment," said Deputy Mayor Lu Ruifeng after meeting resident delegates last week.

He said the probe results will be announced this month.

The government housing project provided 2,568 flats for low- and medium-income households at the beginning of the year. The decorated apartments were sold for around 4,800 yuan ($700) per sq m, much lower than market price.

However, many residents were soon complaining of serious problems, including water leaks, holes in walls and peeling paintwork.

The housing authority was quick to acknowledge the problems and order repairs.

It offered a compensation package for the residents in early April, which included a one-off 12,000-yuan payment.

Mayor Xu Zongheng said the government will be accountable and will not dodge its responsibilities.

(China Daily May 5, 2009)

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