[photopress:China_housing_contrast.jpg,full,alignright]Minister of Construction Wang Guangtao has announced the Chinese government will extend the low-rent housing system to cover medium-and low-income families nationwide this year. All cities and counties will come under the system by the end of 2007.
His announcement comes amid government efforts to curb runaway housing prices. Wang Guangtao said low-income families have only limited access to affordable housing due to the over-reliance by local governments on the highly lucrative property industry for fiscal revenue.
A report released by the China Society for Urban Studies revealed that China has an alarming 1.56 million urban families with no access to adequate affordable housing, many of whom are living in overcrowded and dilapidated homes. He urged developers to allocate 70% of new housing to small-and medium-sized homes under 90 square meters, calling it one of 2007’s top priorities.