GUANGZHOU topped the country last year in providing living space for urban residents, with room that came to 100.4 square feet per capita, the China Daily Business Weekly has reported. This year, as the central government kicked off its 'Living in Comfort' project, Guangzhou started building low-profit apartments, the report said. The Guangzhou government has set aside three sections of land for the project, totalling 5.92 million sq ft, said Fang Shou, a senior official from the Guangzhou Land and House Administrative Bureau. Land acquisition is scheduled to be completed this summer. The government is establishing a special office this month that will be responsible for the project, he said. Eight of the city's largest real estate developers have been chosen to direct construction of the three residential quarters. 'All of them have rich experience in construction. And most significantly, they promise to build high-quality apartments and sell them at a low profit,' Mr Fang said. Profits for the projects are limited to between one per cent and three per cent. Mr Fang said the apartment buildings should be completed in three to five years, but he worried that a shortage of funds might cause delays. 'Apart from 100 million yuan (about HK$92.76 million) in state loans, the local government has to raise about 150 million yuan itself,' he explained. To make the apartments affordable for average buyers, the government will keep the basic square-foot cost to between 167 yuan and 186 yuan. Retired workers and teachers are among the likely purchasers. For many years, Guangzhou has taken the lead in promoting its citizens' living standard. This year, the per capita living space will be expanded to at least 107.64 sq ft.