More Low-Middle Income Housing Announced

State planning and construction authorities said Sunday that they will channel 169.93 billion yuan (US$20.47 billion) to build affordable houses this year. The move is designed to complete about 2.25 billion square meters of housing this year.

This expanded 2001 investment blueprint focuses on housing for middle and low-income families.

When the massive nationwide project is completed, the average living space for urban residents will rise to 10.25 square meters, according to a circular released jointly by the State Development Planning Commission, the Ministry of Construction and the State’s financial organizations.

Out of the total investment, about 39.09 billion yuan (US$4.71 billion) will be bank loans.

“Banking organizations are encouraged to participate in housing loan projects and give an impetus to the industry,” according to the circular.

The banks are responsible for appraising the feasibility of every investment in the affordable house project and should safeguard loan security.

The authorities also gave priority to housing personnel transferred to civilian work from military organizations.

China Real Estate Development Group recently launched projects in some urban areas where a large number of military staff will be transferred to civilian work, the circular said.

As a result, middle and low-income urban residents, military staff transferred to civilian work can buy apartments at a lower price, according to the circular.

China is moving towards market-based industries in most sectors, including housing. However, the state has to lower housing prices by reducing some taxes so as to ensure middle and low-income families can buy houses.

Every urban resident is free to buy commercial apartments, which are more expensive than the government-subsidized homes, but related organizations should examine the incomes of applicants for affordable housing.

In the past, urban residents received their housing from their work units as a part of the welfare system. They also enjoyed low rent.

In addition, the authorities required all provincial governments to “take measures and make every effort possible” to restore order in the building industry.

As part of the rectification endeavor, the Ministry of Construction will improve the bidding process, which will be placed under public supervision.

All designing, planning and construction authorities, companies and other intermediary agencies are encouraged to fight irregularities in the building market.

The authorities admitted that “the market is somewhat chaotic at the moment” because of regional protectionism, monopolies, under-the-table deals and the defiance of laws and regulations related to construction.

(China Daily 07/02/2001)

In This Series

Housing Market Sustains Growth

New Law for Housing Sector

Ministry Strives to Increase Residents' Average Living Space

Agricultural Bank Sees Sharp Rise in Housing Loans

Reforms Boost Housing Sector



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