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Ministry: affordable housing cannot be abolished
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15:40, August 19, 2009

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Although problems exist in affordable housing, it is still an effective way to solve the current housing difficulties of urban low-income households, especially those in large and medium-sized cities where housing prices are relatively higher, said Hou Ximin, head of the Department of Housing Security under the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD), on August 17.

At present, there are two main points for abolishing affordable housing: firstly, in terms of the current problems, the affordable housing system should be denied; secondly, recipients covered by guarantee policies should not be given housing property rights. Guarantee means relief and giving housing property rights will affect the efficiency of resource allocation.

Hou believes that housing policies are a type of social policy. They are different from real estate policies, which are related to the economy. Offering qualified housing support to residents is favorable to helping low-income households obtain basic asset accumulation and share the achievements brought about by reform and opening-up. It also helps promote social harmony and stability.

In addition, China's rapid industrialization and urbanization will continue for a long period of time. It is difficult to change the tension between housing supply and demand and fast rising housing prices quickly. Most new urban households in large and medium-sized cities need housing support from the government.

It is not financially viable to build low-rent houses using only state investment. As for affordable housing policies, the government offers some housing allowance by way of land and tax subsidies and households with the capacity to pay can bear part of the cost. This means that affordable housing policies are feasible in reality.

By People's Daily Online

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