Copyright AFP, 2011 | Jun 11, 2011
China’s housing authorities said Friday construction of 10 million state-subsidised apartments must start by the end of November in order to meet this year’s target, calling it a “political mission”.
The housing ministry issued the urgent statement after state media said this week that a lack of funding and low profit margins for developers meant it “would be very difficult” for all low-income housing projects to start on time.”
The plan to build up to 10 million affordable homes is not only an economic mission but also a political mission.
It’s a promise made by the central government to the nation’s people,” the ministry said.”All local (governments) must start full-scale construction by the end of November.”
China’s public housing programme has been neglected for years as local governments eager to cash in on soaring property prices sold land to developers for high-end projects.
Faced with growing public anxiety over rising costs, Premier Wen Jiabao told China’s legislature in March the government would ramp up a campaign to build affordable housing for the country’s millions of low-income earners.
The subsidised housing will cost an estimated 1.3 trillion yuan ($200 billion), with about 500 billion yuan provided by the central and local governments and the rest coming from the private sector, Xinhua news agency said.
But less than one-third of the low-income homes to be built this year in some cities had started due to a lack of funds and some projects had quality problems, Xinhua said.
Authorities hope the social housing programme will soften the impact of a slowdown in the residential property market as China tries to restrict bank lending and avoid a potentially damaging property bubble.