President Mohamed Muizzu has pledged to uphold public trust in the independent committee that is being established to review the flat allocation list of the ‘Gedhoruveriya’ social housing scheme. Speaking at the ‘Ahaa’ public forum, the president underscored the government’s commitment to ensuring the committee’s independence and the credibility of its appointed members.

The ‘Gedhoruveriya’ scheme, initiated by the previous administration, has been subject to an investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) since November 2023 following allegations of irregularities in the allocation of flats. The ACC’s probe disclosed that approximately 60 percent of the recipients, as finalised by the previous administration’s housing ministry, did not meet the established eligibility criteria. Consequently, the commission has forwarded a list of eligible candidates to the Ministry of Housing, Land and Urban Development.

President Muizzu confirmed his administration’s intention to review the ACC’s list, stating, “The list will be further reviewed by an independent committee that has the public trust.” He also noted that the housing ministry is yet to gain access to the ‘Gedhoruveriya portal’, which contains information about the eligible recipients, due to the ongoing ACC investigation.

According to the housing ministry of the previous administration, over 13,000 candidates were deemed eligible under the ‘Gedhoruveriya’ scheme. However, it compiled a list of recipients who scored highest in the eligibility criteria for the 4,000 housing units nearing completion. The ACC halted the handover process in November last year while the previous administration’s housing ministry was determining unit allocation through a draw.

Meanwhile, the Parliament Petitions Committee has decided to hold a public forum before deciding on a petition to prevent any potential annulment of flat awards and to uphold the list gazetted by the previous administration for the ‘Gedhoruveriya’ scheme. The forum, scheduled for 27 February, will allow petitioners and civil society organisations to participate.

The anti-corruption watchdog’s probe into the evaluation of applications under the ‘Gedhoruveriya’ scheme has drawn public and parliamentary criticism over its perceived “interference” in the allocation of the flats. Experts have challenged the legality of the ACC’s interference with the flat list, labelling it an act of “corruption.”