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Subsidized housing supported

By Zhu Zhe and Hu Yuanyuan (China Daily)

09:58, December 24, 2011

Chinese Vice-Premier Li Keqiang speaks at a national meeting on affordable housing in Beijing, Dec 23, 2011.(Xinhua Photo)

BEIJING - Vice-Premier Li Keqiang described next year's task of building affordable housing as "arduous" and called for stronger support for the projects.

The number of low-income housing units the government aims to start building next year will be lower than that of this year, but the scale of construction will remain large because of the continuation of this year's projects, Li said at a national meeting on Thursday.

Experts added that China's new target of building or renovating 7 million housing units for low-income groups next year will help keep the property market cool.

Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development Jiang Weixin said at a meeting on Friday that the new construction target covers both newly-built subsidized housing units and houses in run-down areas that will undergo renovation.

The target is down from this year's 10 million newly constructed affordable housing units, as a slower pace can better ensure construction quality and funding, said Vice-Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development Qi Ji.

A clear annual target of how many units should be finished next year has also been set - 5 million - which is higher than the actual finished number this year, according to the ministry.

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