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Nine Departments Including MOC Jointly Issue Measures for Guaranteeing Low-rent Housing
On Nov. 8, 2007, based on the No. 24 [2007] Document of the State Council and in line with the principles put forward on the National Conference on Urban Housing, nine departments of China’s Central Government. i.e., Ministry of Construction, National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Supervision, Ministry of Civil Affair, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Land and Resources, People’s Bank of China, State Administration of Taxation, and National Bureau of Statistics, jointly issued the Measures for Guaranteeing Low-rent Housing (Circular No. 162), which was officially put into effect on Dec. 1, 2007, aiming at further improving the low-rent housing system.

Being formulated on the basis of the Administrative Measures for Low-rent Housing for Urban Families with Lowest Income, the Measures is characterized by the following revisions. Firstly, the guaranteed scope is expanded from the families with the lowest income to the low-income families with housing difficulties in cities. Secondly, it is required that no less than 10% of the net profit gained from land transfer should be used as the major financial source for low-rent housing, and the Central Government would provide financial supports to the regions of financial difficulty in Central and West China. Thirdly, apart from the regulations on the land-use, planning, and cost reduction of low-rent housing, it makes clear that the floor area per unit of low-rent housing should be no more than 50 m2, and the low-rent housing should be allocated in the projects of economically affordable housing and regular commercial housing. Fourthly, it improves the procedures of application, examination, and approval of low-rent housing, as well as the system of supervision and administration, so as to ensure that the low-income families with housing difficulties can really benefit from the resources of low-rent housing.

Moreover, the Measures proposes that the methods of guaranteeing low-rent housing include both currency subsidy and housing allocation. Actually, the guarantee of low-rent housing is mainly demonstrated by rent subsidy which helps to enhance the financial capacity of the low-income families with housing difficulties for renting a house. For cities where the reserve of low-rent housing is in shortage, methods of constructing and purchasing should be both applied, so as to increase the reserve of low-rent housing for housing allocation.

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