More housing construction urged

10:22, June 15, 2010      

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Officials from the land and housing management bureau in South China's Guangzhou city said on Sunday they will further increase the supply of low-rent housing to meet the demand of middle- and low-income residents.

The bureau said it is also considering how to implement a new guideline from the central government, which requires local governments to offer low-rent housing to new employees and migrant workers.

Seven central government departments jointly issued a policy guideline on Saturday, urging the construction of low-rent homes be sped up for middle- and low-income residents.

These urban residents in need of homes include fresh college graduates and even migrant workers, according to the guideline issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and six other ministries.

Such groups of people have been dubbed the "sandwich layer", as they are not able to apply for low-rent and affordable housing because they do not have the local household registration, or their income is a bit higher than required.

But these people are far from rich enough to buy houses, experts agree.

Vice Premier Li Keqiang also said at a meeting on Saturday that local authorities should create favorable taxation and financing policies to support such housing programs.

"This not only helps curb skyrocketing property prices in some cities, but is also conducive to bridge the income gap and assist in urbanization," he said.

High property prices in 70 large and medium-sized cities rose by 12.4 percent year on year in May, the National Bureau of Statistics said last week.

But the latest guideline on the construction of public low-rent houses will change the prospect of housing prices by diversifying the supply of homes, Liu Shan, deputy chief editor of China Business Times, wrote in a column on sohu.com.

According to the guideline, private capital is welcome to join the construction mission to diversify fund-raising channels.

Vice Premier Li asked different localities to explore their own methods based upon their unique conditions to carry out housing construction.

He urged that the construction and distribution of low-rent housing should be transparent and fair. The houses should not be more than 60 sq m per unit, the guideline said.

Source: China Daily

(Editor:祁澍文)

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