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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 November 19 - 25  > Pushed by civic group, state urges local gov’ts to reduce public housing rents for the needy
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2014 November 19 - 25 [WELFARE]

Pushed by civic group, state urges local gov’ts to reduce public housing rents for the needy

November 21, 2014
In response to a civil group’s demand, the state has urged prefectural authorities to inform needy people living in public housing units of the measures for reduction of or exemption from their rent.

The land ministry made this public on November 20 in answer to an inquiry from Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Tatsumi Kotaro.

In September, a single mother living in a prefectural housing unit in Chiba’s Choshi City killed her daughter in an attempted murder-suicide. The mother was under constant pressure from the prefecture to pay her back rent.

Following this incident, the All Japan Federation of Organizations for the Protection of Life and Health (Zenseiren) made representations to the land ministry, demanding that the authorities apply the rent reduction and exemption program to persons in rent arrears or provide them with welfare benefits before evicting them from their homes.

In early November, the ministry issued a notice to all 47 prefectural governments regarding the collection of rent for public housing. In the notification, the ministry calls on the prefectures to take appropriate measures to lighten the financial burden on needy tenants in collaboration with municipalities.

JCP Councilor Tatsumi has repeatedly taken up the poverty problem in House committee meetings. “The ministry’s notice reflects the Zenseiren’s demand. The Choshi City government should have provided the mother with welfare benefits. Both the national and local authorities should step up efforts to avoid such tragedies from occurring,” he said.
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