China continues enhancing efforts to ensure housing security and supply

Photo taken on Jan. 8 shows the site of a shantytown renovation project in Tongcheng, east China's Anhui Province. (Photo by Jiang Sheng/People's Daily Online)

A total of 23 million houses have been renovated in China’s rundown urban areas in the past five years, which offered secured dwellings for more than 50 million residents.

To meet the housing needs of all Chinese, China is making efforts to ensure housing security and supply through multiple channels, including leasing, sale, renovation and subsidization.

More and more residents covered in China’s efforts to ensure housing security and supply

“The community just organized Spring Festival activities, and it felt great to spend the holiday here,” said Wu Qiong, who works for a company in Suzhou, east China’s Jiangsu province, and lives in a local residential community that was listed as a pilot program of policy-regulated rental housing in 2020 after renovation.

“Our apartment is shared by four people, and it’s not far from where I work,” Wu told the People’s Daily, adding that the rent is lower than that of other apartments of similar conditions in the same area, and the community is surrounded by many restaurants, as well as entertainment and sports facilities. “We as young people have a strong sense of belonging,” Wu said.

Public rental houses have played a vital role in China’s housing security and supply efforts for urban residents, and both physical housing and the allocation of housing subsidies have been offered. By the end of 2020, more than 38 million poor residents moved into public rental houses and a total of 22 million poor residents received housing subsidies. All households living on minimum allowances and with low income were offered assistance, and the housing conditions of medium-to-low-income families were significantly improved. In addition, the coverage of China’s indemnificatory housing policies gradually expanded from urban households to new citizens, the young generation and public service personnel.

China’s housing security and supply efforts benefiting more and more residents

Eight old residential complexes in Fengdong New Town, Xi’an, northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, were recently renovated. Electric cables that used to hang in the air are now buried underground, and the outer walls of buildings are newly painted. Besides, new parking spaces have been built.

“We visited more than 3,000 households and adopted over 300 suggestions. We even adjusted the power line renovation plan for over 20 times,” said Liang Yunlong, manager of the housing renovation project. The project kicked off last June, and all 82 residential buildings have now been renovated, offering a more beautiful living environment for nearly 5,000 families.

In 2019, the renovation of old urban residential communities was included in the affordable housing project. In the last two years, China’s central government allocated more than 140 billion yuan ($21.65 billion) to renovate 58,000 old urban residential communities across the country, benefiting nearly 10.43 million households.

Living conditions in both rural and urban areas improved

“There were cracks on the walls from which the rain seeped in,” said Cui Xiuying, a 74-year-old resident in Xiaoxu village, Dongying, east China’s Shandong province, pointing to the pictures of her old house on her mobile phone. The senior woman has been living alone for years, and her house gradually turned dilapidated due to lack of renovation.

In the past five years, Dongying adopted flexible measures and advanced the progress of renovation for dilapidated houses in rural areas. Thanks to these measures, Cui’s new house was built soon. “There are also volunteers visiting me to offer psychological counseling and even haircutting services,” she told the People’s Daily.

In the past five years, the renovation of rural dilapidated houses laid a solid foundation for China’s victory over poverty. According to the country’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, secured houses have been offered to all 23.416 million registered poor families across China. Besides, China also helped more than 2.42 million rural households living on minimum allowances, individuals living at home in extreme poverty, and poor residents with disabilities renovate their dilapidated houses.

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