The Chinese government will step up construction of affordable housing for middle and low-income earners this year by investing 157.8 billion yuan (US$19 billion).
Officials said the investment in low-cost houses next year would increase to 166.3 billion yuan (US$20 billion).
The floor space of low-cost housing under construction would be200.23 million square meters in 2003, said a circular released by the Ministry of Construction, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Land and Resources.
The circular said sales of the low-cost housing would be restricted to middle and low-income earners.
Once the prices were published by pricing authorities, developers or individuals would be prohibited from raising the prices or levying unwarranted additional fees, according to the circular.
Governments at all levels must call for public tenders when allocating construction land and select qualified developers for development, said the circular.
Governments are also responsible for monitoring the engineering quality, it said.
China has stepped up efforts to provide homes for low-income urban residents in recent years by building more low-cost housing.
(Xinhua News Agnency June 20, 2003)