City will add 100 million square metres of housing by 2010 Shanghai will upgrade about 4 million square metres of ramshackle downtown homes by 2010 and put about 1,500 hectares of land on the market this year and next year, giving priority to the development of middle and low-end residences. The targets - crafted in response to national policies to make housing more affordable - are part of a property blueprint submitted to the central government that includes adding 100 million square metres of housing by 2010 and a continued ban on land approvals for villa developments. The release of the projections comes as city authorities try to salvage a reputation tarnished by a corruption scandal last week that claimed Chen Liangyu, Communist Party secretary and a Politburo member. About 27 million square metres of housing will be built this year and 26 million square metres added next year to increase the per capita living area in the city from the present 15.5 square metres, the Jiefang Daily reported. Central authorities in May ordered Shanghai, along with other major cities including Beijing and Guangzhou, to come up with a five-year property blueprint by the end of September to curb rampant speculation in the urbanproperty market. The central government said apartments of up to 90 square metres should account for more than 70 per cent of the housing constructed. All of the cities covered by the central government order will continue to ban licensing land for villa developments and restrict the supply of excessively large flats. The Jiefang Daily report said that over the past five years, a total of 120 million square metres of housing had been built in Shanghai. The city's plan also includes provisions to extend coverage of the municipality's low-income housing subsidy programme to an additional 100,000 households, according to the Shanghai Morning Post. The programme subsidises low-income families to rent or buy property and now covers just 18,000 families around the city. Nearly 300 cities around the country have housing subsidy schemes to support people on low pay, but only about 330,000 families are covered by the government programmes, the China Economic Daily reports. Shanghai also said it would instruct developers to build more housing for the rental market, as well as encourage residents to considering leasing rather than buying property. But industry specialists have doubts the official blueprint will curb market speculation in the face of strong demand for housing. Centaline China's Li Wenjie said for example that projected housing supply in Beijing of 92.5 million square metres over the next five years was limited in contrast with demand, the Beijing News reported.