Jakarta. The Jakarta city government has officially barred cars from entering the parking lots of the capital's low-cost public apartments in a bid to ensure that they are only rented by underprivileged people.
Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama has been clearing out illegal dwellings encroaching the city's major rivers, placing residents in hundreds of low-cost apartments built by the government.
But the low-rent apartments proved to be in such high demand, that some former squat dwellers have rented their apartment units out to middle-class Jakartans for a profit and returned to build illegal settlements elsewhere.
The government initially tried to stop this by imposing a stiff parking fee of Rp 8,000 (60 cents) per hour for cars last year, but the governor decided on Tuesday that he would no longer tolerate having car parks in the apartments.
Basuki said low-rent apartments, known as rusunawa, are meant for people with a maximum income of Rp 5 million a month.
“We designed [apartments] to be without a car park. If we allow cars to park there … the middle class would be lured [to rent units] by way of bribing [apartment management],” he said.
The city began raiding apartments and telling car owners to park elsewhere on Monday in the hopes that “middle class people will feel uncomfortable” renting the apartment, the governor said. But Monday's raid was met with resistance with car owners pointing that there is no sign telling them that they couldn't park there.
“If the argument is that there is no sign then we will install them immediately,” Basuki said on Tuesday.
The governor said parking spaces in rusunawas would soon only be available to motorcycles with the remaining space converted as parks and playgrounds.
“There would be no more car parks in rusunawas. It is better to build parks where children can play and [adults] can stage gatherings and socialize,” he said.