New rules on housing management released by the Ministry of Construction allow local governments at the county and city level to develop affordable housing projects, China Business Net reported (in Chinese). Under the regulations, properties must be sold at the construction price and should not be profit-oriented. Previously, local governments had to contract the building of such projects to private developers at a 3% premium above the cost of construction. The rules introduce stricter criteria for prospective residents to ensure that only low-income households can apply for low-rent housing. Building more affordable housing has been a top priority of the government, said Premier Wen Jiabao in late November.
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