[photopress:Real_estate_low_rent.jpg,full,alignright]Qi Ji, deputy minister of construction said at a news conference that China will try hard to fund housing for low-income town and city dwellers. He said, ‘There is still a big fund gap. To let more families enjoy the low-rent housing, China needs an annual fund of 50 billion yuan but all money that can be raised can barely reach 14 billion yuan every year.’
By 2010, according to a policy framework released by the State Council earlier this month, the low-rent housing system will expand from four million urban residents with basic living allowances to 10 million low-income families.
Qi Ji said local governments should earmark funds for low-rent housing in their budgets and at least 10% of the proceeds of land sales and all the proceeds of the housing provident funds should be used for low-rent housing. At the moment this is not happening.
The central government will grant special financial support to central and western regions for low-rent housing.
According to statistics, the average housing area for each urban dweller have risen to 27 square meters in 2006 from 6.7 square meters in 1978 when China began its opening and reform drives. But there are still 10 million low-income families with housing space barely reaching 10 square meters a head.
By the end of 2006, 512 of China’s 657 cities had affordable housing strategies, but only 268,000 households, or 2.7% of the low-income families nationwide, have benefited from the low-renting housing policy.