Shared venture for public homes

BOTH the Chinese government and private developers are to share the responsibility for building more public housing flats in Guangdong to upgrade the standard of living of low income groups, according to an official report.

The latest report released by Guangdong Province Building Committee (Real Estate Division) said there was a shortage of housing for the less well off in the province.

As a result, the construction of more public housing units in the southern China province has become a priority in the latest drive to regulate property development and its planning.

The move to build more low-profit residential flats, or public housing units, will fall in line with the policy set down by Guangdong Governor Zhu Senlin to promote housing for all.

Other important government measures aimed at building up a more systematic property development in Guangdong include greater state control over real estate agents, developers and overall town planning.

''But first, special attention must be given to solve the housing problems faced by our society's low income groups,'' says the report.

''It is hoped that through a series of reforms on flat distribution, scrupulous land approvals, tax reduction and loans for buyers, each city will give priority to the provision of building more low-profit housing as a means to solving the current housing problems.

''It is now planned that low-profit housing must account for more than 20 per cent of the overall property development in each city every year.'' The report also says private developers and enterprises must also play a role in building public housing flats as part of their investment plans.

''Apart from building commercial properties, private developers must also shoulder the responsibility of building public housing so that people with low incomes can afford to buy their own flat,'' it says.

Greater control over the activities of real estate agents and developers is also needed, says the report.

The Guangdong authority is now drafting legislation to set up standards for property quality assurance, property management, and land auctions for real estate developments.

''It is hoped that such legislation will further standardise the practices of real estate agents,'' says the report.

The Guangdong government will also ensure that legislation passed over the last two years is followed. These laws include the Guangdong Province Property Development Administration Ordinance and Guangdong Property Transfer Ordinance.

The latter legislation regulates the activities of property developers after they have bought their land.

Greater care should also be given to individual town planning schemes. Each city is to follow a unified property development rate according to the overall provincial development plan, the report says.

''By the end of 1995, it is hoped that each city will have completed over 80 per cent of its construction target [within the residential sector],'' it says.

''Also, by 1995, the province must have one to three modernised residential areas in the province.'' The report also recommends that the government exercise more control over property developers and their activities.

''And [the areas] will include government distribution of funds, land and materials, to make sure key infrastructure projects are built,'' the report says.