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China Releases Several Measures to Enhance Social Housing System Construction
Lately, in a talk with netizens, Premier WEN Jiabao expressed his opinions concerning the issue of controlling housing prices, which are as follows. Firstly, the effective housing supply must be increased. In 2010, China initiated the construction of around 5.9 million units of social housing, among which 3.7 million are completed. And in 2011, China plans to construct and reform 10 million units of social housing and shanty housing; in addition, it is also planned that within the next five years, 36 million units of social housing will be constructed. Secondly, China will endeavor to restrain investment and speculative housing requirements by applying economical, legislative, and administrative measures when necessary, which include differentiated lending rates, tax rates, and land supply policies. Thirdly, China will take good control over the market. In order to prevent property hoarding and land storage, the government will adopt legislative and economical measures to control the market.

At the National Social Housing Projects Meeting on Feb. 24, Vice Premier LI Keqiang further stressed the importance of social housing. He indicated that it is a rigid requirement this year to construct 10 million units of housing for the social housing project, which is not only important for stabilizing housing price, boosting the development of a harmonious society, and expanding domestic demand, but also an important measure to adjust the income distribution structure. Therefore, the government at different levels should schedule their construction plans and complete the construction as soon as possible.

After then, the National Reform and Development Commission announced recently that it will, together with the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, invest 35 billion yuan in the construction of low-rent housing, so as to address the housing problem of low-income households in cities. The National Reform and Development Commission and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development require that the government at different levels should ensure the effective investment of the fund for low-rent housing construction, guarantee the timely and full amount of funding from the local government, and enhance project construction management and fund management. Moreover, related institutional systems such as the responsibility system of the project representative, bidding system, contract management system, and project supervision system should be established, so as to facilitate the supervision and monitoring of project quality, construction progress, and fund utilization, and guarantee the accomplishment of projects.

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