Two DPP lawmakers urged the government yesterday to take action against squatters, saying the value of illegally occupied properties is worth up to NT$20 billion.
"We found that the problem of illegitimate occupation of official residences was more serious in central and local governments than in some state-owned enterprises or educational institutes which the government had recently pledged to check thoroughly," said DPP Legislator Chiu Yeong-jen (邱永仁).
The top illegal occupier of government living quarters was a Hsinchu resident surnamed Huang. Huang holds a property in the city's downtown belonging to the Hsinchu County Government. A government assessment put the property's value at NT$252 million.
Huang has continued to occupy the property, even though the person who was assigned the home has died.
The second-most valuable property was in Taipei City, where a former National Police Administration official failed to leave his residence after his retirement. The latest official assessment of the property's value was NT$155 million.
The third-most-valuable property was a residence in downtown Taipei granted to a former employee of the Bank of Taiwan. The property is worth an estimated NT$150 million.
Chiu and Legislator Shieh Ming-yuan (謝明源) made the charge at the legislature yesterday, several days after the government announced it would scrutinize the use of public properties at universities and colleges as well as state-owned enterprises.
Shieh said an investigation found that 17 official residences worth more than NT$50 million each and another 52 homes worth at least NT$20 million each were being occupied illegally.
"Many people are not able to buy even a single house because of financial problems," he said.
The lawmakers' investigation discovered that the National Police Administration topped the list of government agencies whose properties were illegally occupied.
The government-assessed price of the police administration's properties being used improperly totalled NT$1 billion, with most occupiers being retired police officers, Chiu said.
"How can these people, who are the executors of law and order, be trusted, given that they are violating the law," Chiu said.
The illegal occupation of government properties is also common at the local-government level, the lawmakers' investigation revealed.
Hsinchu City and Hsinchu County led local administrations for the highest value of illegally occupied properties.
"Government property and land occupied illegally in the two districts was worth NT$920 million, according to the official assessment," Chiu said.
Almost one-fifth of living quarters held by the Taichung City Government were illegitimately occupied, while one of the two residences owned by the Fukien Provincial Government is being used illegally.
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