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Govt makes subsidized rental housing priority

Updated: Sep 1, 2021 China Daily Print
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China has built more than 78 million government-subsidized homes since 2008, benefiting more than 200 million people, the country's leading housing official said on Aug 31.

Aside from building public rental housing, affordable rental apartments, and homes with shared ownership, the country has also rebuilt many areas in shantytowns to meet low-income families' demand for housing, said Wang Menghui, minister of housing and urban-rural development.

"China has built up the largest government-subsidized home system in the world," he told a news conference organized by the State Council Information Office.

The ministry will continue to improve the system during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period with the target of "meeting the housing needs of all people", he said, adding the construction of government-subsidized rental housing will be made a priority.

Wang said the country has also made persistent efforts to renovate dilapidated buildings in rural areas in recent years to help people who were previously plagued by poverty.

He said 7.9 million such buildings have been renovated, with the program benefiting roughly 25.7 million rural residents.

Vice-minister Huang Yan said that in the next five years the ministry will accelerate the renovation of urban residential communities that were built before the turn of the century.

The decision to renovate such communities was made at an executive meeting of the State Council on June 19, 2019, that was presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.

The renovation work will give priority to the upgrading of roads and water, electricity, gas, and optical fiber facilities. In communities where conditions permit, elevators will be installed and parking lots will be built, a statement released after the meeting said.

"Thanks to the joint efforts of different government bodies and local governments, positive progress has been made in the renovation work," Huang said.

Central authorities have distributed more than 245 billion yuan ($37.9 billion) to help local governments promote the program. By the end of last year, the renovation of about 219,000 old residential communities had been completed, Huang said.

She said the ministry plans to begin renovating another 53,000 such communities this year and the work has already started in most of the communities.

In the next step, the ministry aims to "enable people to feel more satisfied, happy and secure" by resolving major problems residents face, Huang said.

She said intensified efforts, for example, will be made to promote the installation of elevators and improve property management in old communities.

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