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China spends more on affordable housing


09:45, February 07, 2013

BEIJING, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- China's government has stepped up efforts to ensure housing for low-income residents as its regulated property market has warmed in recent months, new data has revealed.

The central government allocated 233.26 billion yuan (37.1 billion U.S. dollars) for subsidized housing projects in 2012, up 36.2 percent year on year, according to an online statement by the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the country completed the construction of 6.01 million affordable units and renovated dilapidated buildings for 5.6 million households in rural areas, the statement said.

The government is organizing the construction of 36 million such affordable units during the 2011-2015 period.

The affordable housing program, first approved in 1999, is designed to provide less costly houses to wage-earning workers and low-rent homes to poverty-stricken residents.

The program was especially intended to allow low-income families to own a house as the country's real estate sector overheated in recent years.

After a short cool-off in 2010, home prices started to rebound in the third quarter of last year, shored up by the government's pro-growth policies.

In December 2012, 54 of a statistical pool of 70 major Chinese cities recorded higher new home prices than a month earlier, up from 53 in November, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

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