The Mohamed Muizzu administration will publish the list of the 4,000 applicants selected to receive the first round of flats under the Gedhoruveriya housing scheme after vetting all the submitted application forms, Minister of Housing, Land and Urban Development Ali Haidar Ahmed said.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), upon scrutinising the recipients list for the first 4,000 units, had found that 59 percent did not meet the eligibility requirements. The commission also said that 19.7 percent were given flats despite clearly not meeting the set criteria.

Minister Haider, who appeared before the Parliament’s National Development and Heritage Committee almost two weeks ago on 13 February, said the flats would be expeditiously handed over to 20 percent of the first 4,000 applicants, who are declared eligible by the ACC, within the past week.

However, the allocation process has yet to begin with President Muizzu, during the ‘Aha‘ forum on Friday, saying he would form an independent committee to review applications.

When asked about the process of handing over the flats, Haider said that the delay was due to the committee not being constituted, and once finalised, the committee would evaluate all the applications to determine a final list of recipients.

“We will evaluate based on recommendations of the ACC and the committee will decide… Well, [the first] 4,000 will be determined after everything is reviewed, wouldn’t it? If we see that some are disqualified, if some are sidelined from the previously determined 4,000, others, on the other hand, will enter it [the list of qualifying applicants],” the minister said.

The previous administration, which had initially announced 4,000 units for social housing, had later decided to award flats to all the eligible applicants under the Gedhoruveriya scheme. Of the 20,697 people who applied for flats, 15,046 were, at the time, deemed eligible.

The first 4,000 flats were to be allocated to those who had scored upwards of 76 points for three-bedroom apartments and upwards of 73 points for two-bedroom apartments.

The current opposition, which had earlier been in office, is of the view that the ACC mishandled the case and that changes in the list are being made to influence the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Haider said that all applications will be vetted, as was instructed by the ACC, while the president has promised to award flats and land to all those who were included in the list gazetted by the previous administration.

“If it is officially gazetted, [it means] the applicant has got it. And some people may not have received the documents, they may not have registered. That is another matter. So if a final list is gazetted, it is an administration decision,” President Muizzu had said earlier as he sought to assure applicants that those on the gazetted list would receive housing even with the changeover in administrations.