Tight regulations guarantee land supply for public

10:22, March 11, 2011      

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China has unveiled an accountability system for local leaders in a bid to guarantee the building of 10 million units of government-subsidized housing.

A list, including those officials who are in charge of the local projects, will be released to the public in early April.

After the assessment in December, the listed officials will face severe punishment if the land provided falls short of what is required, a notice released by the Ministry of Land and Resources said on Thursday.

The ministry said the land needed for affordable housing, shantytown reconstruction, and medium and small commercial homes will take up more than 70 percent of the total land supply for housing construction.

Before the end of June, local land administrators will launch a campaign to check the project's progress and immediately report problems to the ministry, it said.

The notice emphasized that using land set aside for government housing for other purposes is strictly banned.

The local land administrator must reclaim the land if the land contractor asks to change the use, and any developer who uses the land for another purpose will be strictly punished, the notice said.

Any developer who sells government-subsidized homes as commercial properties will be punished severely and banned from attending any further land transactions.

The notice also warned local land bureaus to closely watch changes in land transfer fees to avoid high land prices in second- and third-tier cities.

The central government has promised to build 10 million units of government-subsidized housing in 2011 and another 26 million units before 2015, since owning a small home has become a distant dream for most Chinese due to soaring housing prices.

In 2010, the government fell short of its target of building 5.8 million low-income homes, causing many people to question the target for 2011.

The notice expressed the ministry's determination to supply land for the program.

Qi Ji, vice-minister of housing and urban-rural development, guaranteed the program's capital will be "completely viable" at a news conference on the sidelines of the National People's Congress annual session on Wednesday.

He estimated the cost for the program will be about 1.3 trillion yuan ($197 billion).

Source: China Daily
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