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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Affordable-housing goal met

By Jin Zhu and Zheng Jinran  (China Daily)

09:21, December 22, 2011

The daughter of coal miner Liu Yubao and his wife jumps happily in their new home in the Suihe Huayuan residential community in Huaibei city, East China's Anhui province, earlier this year. More than 3,000 coal miners with the local Huaibei Mining Group, such as Liu, moved into the newly built community for miners and their families, who had previously lived in run-down shacks. (China Daily/Chen Banggan)

BEIJING - China launched an unprecedented push for large-scale construction of affordable housing this year in a major effort to meet the living needs of city dwellers amid rocketing property prices and high rents.

By the end of October, construction had already begun on more than 10 million affordable-housing units, meeting the goal the government set for this year, according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.

The target far exceeded the government's goal of building 5.9 million such houses in 2010.

The affordable-housing program includes government-subsidized, low-rent housing for low-income residents, public rental and limited-price homes for middle-income earners who cannot afford to buy on the commercial market, and the renovation of run-down urban properties.

China started selling housing on the commercial market in 1998, a move made in concert with plans to provide affordable housing to low-income city residents, who in recent years have suffered from soaring property prices.

The affordable-housing program has now become a top concern among senior Chinese officials because access to housing is considered an important part of the country's social welfare.

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