China is to introduce national standards for low rent housing projects within the next few months as the government intends to make good on its pledge to provide residents with greater access to affordable homes, according to a report in the China Daily.
These standards will guarantee the living and housing quality for residents. On September 19, the State Council ordered local governments to provide greater support for construction of low income housing projects. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao chaired an executive meeting to agree upon measures for constructing more low income housing projects, with the result being that a professional team has been set up to draft a document for national standards, which is expected to be finished by the end of 2011 or early 2012.
Although there have been a number of low income housing projects in recent years which have provided much-needed homes for low and middle income households, there has also been a lot of criticism about the poor quality of the housing. The local standards differ from region to region, and it is hoped that providing a unified standard will improve quality and design.
The central government is due to continue increasing its subsidies for these housing projects, but apparently local governments also need to devote more money towards the construction of affordable housing. The government will build around 2.2 million low rent homes this year which are less than 60 m², but the State Council is also set to encourage local governments to build even smaller units of around 40 m².
According to the vice president of the China Real Estate Association these new measures show the central government wants to ensure the public have access to quality homes, but also highlights the lack of funding available for these projects.
The government intends to build 36 million low rent homes, public rental homes and price capped homes over the next five years in attempt to meet the shortfall of affordable housing. The Chinese public has been complaining about rising property prices which have made home ownership unaffordable for many.