Guangzhou violators could lose homes

10:44, May 24, 2010      

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Owner or tenant of a government subsidized home in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province, may be forced to give up the home if they resold or sublet it without authorization, the local government said.

The Qilu Evening News reported Sunday that the city intends to retake any apartment if the legal owner committed a serious violation.

The violations include reselling, subleasing, lending or transferring the apartment without authorization; failing to pay rent for three months; and keeping the apartment vacant for more than three months without a justified reason.

Residents who have interfered with the security or sanitation of the building may be asked to do volunteer work, the newspaper quoted Xie Xiaodan, director of the local housing bureau, as saying. Those who refused to do volunteer work would be asked to return the apartment.

Affordable housing is intended for low and medium wage earners. Affordable housing also includes low-rent apartments.

Many other cities across the country have also strengthened the provision of affordable housing. For example, Beijing intends to boost construction of such homes.

Fuzhou in Fujian Province allocated 70 percent of the residential land for affordable housing. The city will also fine developers if they fail to launch a project one year after they signed the contract. However, some residents complained that many people buying those affordable homes are not low-income people. They said rich residents have bought low-cost apartments and resold them for a profit.

"As far as I know, many apartment owners in Baihuan community are not low-income people. Many of them are businessmen or government officials who are making profits by renting these apartments," a real estate agent in Beijing told the Global Times Sunday. Niu Fengrui, deputy director of the Urban Development and Environment Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times Sunday that all residents are responsible for maintaining the quality of the community.

Niu added that many poor people still cannot get an affordable apartment.

"Although the government is making new rules to improve the real estate industry, the problem lies with the policy of providing housing for those in need," Niu said.

"The apartments are actually not for low-income people, they are actually for the medium-income people who can afford the low price set by the government. But the poorest people still cannot afford to buy an apartment."



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