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Ownership opens door to affordable housing abuse (2)

By Ma Hongman (Global Times)

09:20, January 29, 2013

Authorities are not blind to this reality which has marred China's affordable housing market. In fact many have pinned last year's drop in new affordable home starts on the rising prevalence of corruption - new building accounted for only 8.14 percent of the affordable housing construction underway last year, down slightly from 2011's figure of 10.55 percent.

If the Chinese government wants to give less-affluent citizens more opportunities to secure decent housing, this goal can be achieved by compelling developers to rent out their affordable homes at rates below market value rather than selling them outright. By abolishing private ownership of such homes, there will be fewer chances for speculators to insert themselves into the market, and thus more needy people will have access to comfortable, safe and inexpensive accommodations while they sock away money for an eventual home purchase.

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