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Housing Guidelines Clarified
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Confusion over its new housing development guidelines resulted in the Ministry of Construction yesterday clarifying the situation. 

To increase the number of affordable homes and curb soaring prices the State Council said from June 1 homes no bigger than 90 square meters must account for at least 70 percent of the total space being provided in new residential housing projects.

However, there was no detailed explanation of what the specified "90 square meters" and "70 percent" rules actually meant. Many felt the guidelines were too ambiguous.

For example in some regions an apartment of 90 square meters could mean 90 square meters of "usable" space while it might in fact actually have a floor area of 110 square meters.

Therefore the ministry yesterday made it clear that the 90 square meters includes both the usable floor space and the shared public areas in residential buildings.

With regard to the proportion of smaller homes the ministry has said that homes with less than 90 square meters of space must account for at least 70 percent of the total floor space of any new residential development.

They also said that land identified for medium and low cost housing must, in the main, be reserved for the construction of homes of 90 square meters or smaller.. The ratio for the provision of such homes must not be breached but if developers wish to make adjustments they must seek ministry approval. Details of the scheme were contained in a circular issued by the ministry yesterday.

(China Daily July 14, 2006)

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