China boosts financial aid for affordable housing

Updated: 2012-02-07 09:51


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BEIJING - China on Monday vowed to expand financial support for affordable housing projects this year as the government continues its efforts to bring housing prices back to reasonable levels.

Central and local governments' financial support for the initiative will be greater than last year, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on its website.

However, the ministry did not provide detailed figures. According to statistics from the Ministry of Housing and Urban-rural Development, from January to the end of November 2011, the country spent 152.2 billion yuan ($24.16 billion) from the central budget on affordable housing construction last year.

Revenue from this year's local government bond sales will be prioritized to support affordable housing projects, while revenue from property taxes, which are now being implemented on a trial basis in the cities of Shanghai and Chongqing, will be earmarked for the initiative.

The ministry said financial authorities should "exert every effort" but also act "according to their capability" when ensuring funds for affordable housing projects.

The government has vowed to build 36 million affordable housing units during the 2011-2015 period in an effort to give more mid- and low-income households access to housing and stabilize runaway property prices, with 10 million units planned for both 2011 and 2012.

In December, 52 cities out of a statistical pool of 70 major Chinese cities saw drops in new home prices from November, compared with 49 cities the previous month.