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People's Daily Online>>China Society

District gives residents new homes

By Luo Wangshu and Zheng Jinran (China Daily)

08:58, April 05, 2012

Rong Changmin, a resident of Beijing's Mentougou district, hangs photos of her newborn grandson on the wall inside the apartment her family is about to move into next month. (Zhou Shijie / for China Daily)

Rong Changmin, 53, is thrilled that she's going to move from her dilapidated home in the Mentougou district on the western outskirts of Beijing to a new two-bedroom apartment in May.

What makes her even happier is that her new home is in the same area as her previous one.

Rong's new living room is painted pink, with a rose-colored couch, with a purple curtain as a backdrop, bathed in the gentle light of a crystal chandelier. Family photos on a decorative wall cloth tell of the family's happy life.

"I never imagined I would own such an apartment," said Rong, a retired employee of a local coal business.

The family of three moved into a 15-square-meter, run-down bungalow in the Shimenying area of Mentougou in 1981. After Rong's daughter married in 2008 and had a baby, there were five of them living there.

"There was no natural gas access at my old place, so I had to burn coal to cook in a cramped kitchen," said Rong, who has rented a temporary home. The old "kitchen", she said, was just a space the family had set off with bricks. "Now, as a wife, mother and grandma, I finally own a real kitchen to cook for my family."

Unlike Rong's family, Jiang Xi's grandparents still live in a bungalow similar to Rong's previous home.

"I was born and raised here," said the 22-year-old Jiang, a senior at China University of Political Science and Law.

"My dad's whole family, with my grandparents and his three siblings, used to be crammed in here in the 1980s," said Jiang. "Then, small parts of the family, like my parents, my uncle and his wife and child, gradually moved out to new places. Now only my uncle and grandparents stay here." Jiang lives in the dorm at her school, but she has always visited and taken care of her grandparents.

Jiang's grandmother is 74 years old and still has to burn coal to heat and cook during winter. "It is very inconvenient. Even if she just needs hot water, she has to burn coal," Jiang said.

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Canada at 2012-04-0670.36.49.*
What happens if they can"t afford the price of housing in better areas, or if the price goes up between the time they receive compensation and the time they buy?

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