China allocates more than $1 bln to fund low-rent housing in 2007

2007-12-28 04:30:40 Xinhua English

BEIJING, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- China allocated more than 7.7 billion yuan (1.054 billion U.S. dollars) in 2007 to fund low-rent housing, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Construction (MOC) on Friday.

This figure surpassed the total previous amount spent in this manner since the low-income housing drive began nationwide in 2003.

The ministry said that the program helped 681,000 low-income urban families improve their living conditions this year.

In a bid to provide low-cost housing to those most in need, the MOC, the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) and seven other ministries released the low-rent housing guarantee policy this past November. The policy took effect on Dec. 1.

This policy was targeted at the 10 million low-income urban families whose living space was less than 10 square meters per person, accounting for 5.5 percent of all Chinese households.

The low-rent housing guarantee policy was built on the back of the low-rent housing system. By the end of October, the low-rent housing system had been established in all 656 cities nationwide.

Official figures showed from January to November, housing prices rose 7.3 percent year-on-year, with new home prices up 7.9percent. Housing prices in 70 major cities skyrocketed by 10.5 percent this November from the previous month. These price rises have become a major concern for the government and the public.