Premier Wen Jiabao inspected repair work and raised morale among residents over the past three days, during a visit to southwestern Sichuan Province nearly four months after the devastating May 12 earthquake.
"The relief work [so far] is successful," said Wen, on his fourth visit to Sichuan since the quake. "Now we are entering a critical stage to boost rehabilitation."
With a combination of temporary housing and repaired buildings, about 4.45 million homeless families in the province have found accommodation.
Wen visited Zaoshu Village, Qingchuan County, one of the worst-hit areas, as the villagers were busy building or repairing houses.
A couple, Shi Guangwu and Zhang Zhengfang, told him that they received a subsidy of 23,000 yuan (3,333 U.S. dollars) from the government to build a new residence.
Under a provincial government policy issued in June, rural families who lost their homes will build new ones under government supervision. Each will receive about 20,000 yuan from the government.
"I am glad to see farmers in the quake area are busy rebuilding their homes with their own hands. As long as we carefully plan and organize the work, new houses will rise soon," said Wen, who expressed appreciation for their self-reliant attitude.
During the four-day trip beginning Sunday, Wen also visited an urban community in Qiaozhuang Town, Qingchuan. Permanent home rebuilding has not started in the urban area yet as the government is working on a subsidy policy for urban survivors.
He explained to the residents that work has to be done to evaluate the condition of damaged houses and develop a rehabilitation plan.
"As soon as a policy is formulated, rebuilding will start," he said.