State Council sets rules for public rented homes

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 September, 2011, 12:00am


The central government has issued detailed criteria for the country's public rental housing, giving it a more prominent role in the country's ambitiou s subsidised housing schemes.

At a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao yesterday, the government for the first time set out who would be eligible for public rental flats on the mainland.

Central government officials said the flats would be leased to lower-middle income households living in poor conditions, newly employed workers without housing, and migrant workers with a stable source of income in their host cities.

They are to be mainly smaller flats of around 40 square metres. The rental charge, according to the central government's new guidelines, should feature 'a small discount' off the average price in the local rental market.

The government also for called greater funding for public rental units so that they can be used along with the sale of government-subsidised housing units to stabilise prices in mainland cities.

The State Council pledged unspecified additional funds to the building of public rental units. Local governments have been urged to contribute resources.

These could come from increased land sale premiums, bond issuances and loans from qualified local government financing vehicles.

Public rental units would be strictly administered, the State Council said, in order to prevent cheating and unauthorised change of use.

Public rental units are just one type of housing for low-income urban residents. The government is also building a large number of subsidised units to be sold to qualified households.

The latest government figures show that the prices of newly completed residential housing units in 46 of the mainland's 70 largest cities did not rise last month.

Some mainland business people and researchers said it could be a turning point leading to a decline in prices for the rest of the year - 'maybe by 10 per cent to 15 per cent in year-on-year terms', according to Shi Jian , chairman of Shanghai-based developer SRE Group.

As part of its 12th five-year plan, the mainland plans to build 36 million hoes by the end of 2015.

Construction of 10 million units will begin this year, to be followed by another 10 million units next year.