The Chinese government attaches great importance to housing construction in both urban and rural areas, and has adopted a series of policy-related measures to speed up housing construction. Between 1979 and 1999, a total of 3,717.3 billion yuan was invested in the construction of residences in cities and towns. The newly built residences covered a floor space of 16.4 billion sq m. The per capita residential area for urban residents increased from 3.6 sq m in 1978 to 9.8 sq m in 1999. Between 1979 and 1999, the newly built residences in rural areas

Villa-style houses in Huaxi Village,
Jiangsu Province.

reached about 13.8 billion sq m, with the per capita residential area increasing from 8.1 sq m in 1978 to 24.4 sq m in 1999. Meanwhile the government has also implemented the “comfortable housing project” so as to improve the living conditions of households with housing difficulties. To improve the living environment for urban residents, China started the construction of 67 residential quarters in 56 cities on a trial basis in 1986, with a total construction area of 10 million sq m. Since the 1990s, the Chinese government has promoted a model project to ensure “better-off housing by the year 2000,” with an area of nearly 10 million sq m. In accordance with the Ninth Five-Year Plan for Urban Housing Construction and the Development Objectives by 2010, by 2000, each urban household will have a residence; 70 percent of urban families will have a residential flat with fairly complete utilities and with the per capita living area reaching 9 sq m and the per capita usable area 14 sq m, and the quality and functions of rural residences will be much improved. By 2010, each urban household will have one residence with complete utilities, the per capita living area reaching 10 sq m, and the per capita usable area, 15-18 sq m. This means a room for each person, in general. At the same time, the quality of rural residences will be greatly improved, with basically complete utilities.

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Last updated: 2000-07-13.