In a pilot scheme introduced to 13 Chinese big cities, farmers will for the first time be allowed to develop their collectively-owned land into residential properties for leasing, in another government move to stabilize housing prices and bolster the rental market. The pilot scheme, announced on Monday evening by the Ministry of Land and Resources and Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, will cover cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Guangzhou where the sizable population inflows due to Beijing’s long-term urbanization drive have put a squeeze on infrastructure and accommodation. “The scheme is introduced to mainly address the living problem of the massive populations of migrant workers in big cities, including the 200 million who now live in inner-city slums or suburban villages, and the six to seven million who live on construction sites,” Tao Ran, a Renmin University professor of China’s rural land issue studies told the South China Morning Post.
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