BEIJING, June 27 (Xinhua) -- China's top auditor said on Wednesday that 2.96 billion yuan (470 million U.S. dollars) earmarked for affordable housing programs was intercepted or embezzled last year.
The report was based on auditing in 66 cities and counties.
Liu Jiayi, auditor general of the National Audit Office, added the agency had discovered other problems in social housing construction, including lack of funds, as well as faulty approval and exit mechanisms.
The agency said more than 5,400 households had been included in the program without undergoing required reviewing procedures and 21,000 were found ineligible for the project.
Liu said after the auditing, local authorities had retrieved 2.82 billion yuan and 3,800 households had been stripped of qualifications.
China has vowed to build 36 million affordable housing units during the 2011-2015 period in a bid to meet the demands of low-income families and cool the property market. But corruption in the construction and application process, as well as doubts over the quality of projects have caused public complaints.