China's Public Housing: Chengdu improving living conditions for many
Local Chengdu authorities have been providing affordable housing for middle and low-income people in recent years. A large number of the people have moved into their new homes and officials are now trying to improve their living conditions through new subsidy methods. Tang Bo has more.
Writing is the most enjoyable thing that Xiao Detian does in his free time. Moving from Wuhan to Chengdu at the age of 18, Xiao worked as a locomotive mechanic for 40 years, and experienced 11 years of stumbling business, all these are fresh material for Xiao's writing.
He started to write in junior high, but never imagined that he'd one day sit down in a cozy new home and write about his life.
XIAO DETIAN PUBLIC RENT HOUSING TENANT "The apartments that I used to rent were quite shabby, without kitchen and bathrooms. I had to move every time the landlords unreasonably raised the rent. I moved 4 times over the past ten years."
After his wife got a divorce and his children left Chengdu, Xiao lived all alone for ten years in poor housing.
In 2014, he applied for the public housing, and was given a newly renovated 60-square-meter apartment in 2017.
XIAO DETIAN PUBLIC RENT HOUSING TENANT "You will get low-rent housing if your annual income is less than 30,000 yuan, otherwise you will get public rent housing like what I've got. Although there is no rent exemption, my rent is still cheap, only 470 yuan monthly."
470 Yuan is approximately 68 US dollars. It accounts for 70 percent of the average rent in Chengdu's housing market.
Chengdu's public housing program includes limited price commercial housing, affordable housing, low-rent housing, and public rent housing.
Different categories require different application conditions and have different preferential policies. For example, only a family whose annual income is less than 30,000 yuan can apply for low-rent housing.
Once approved, the rent for the family will be only 2.4 yuan, about 30 cents per square meter per month, not mentioning some extra rent exemptions.
So far, the local housing authority has offered 183,000 units of public housing and over 48 million US dollars of subsidies for 43,000 families.
TANG BO CHENGDU "However, confronted with shortfalls in fiscal and land inputs, local authorities have difficulties in activating more public housing construction on an adequate scale. Therefore, new methods are needed."
ZHENG ZHONG CHENGDU HOUSING & URBAN-RURAL DEVELOPMENT BUREAU "We are now simultaneously promoting both in-kind subsidies and monetary ones. We want to increase the monetary subsidies so that middle and low income individuals and families can use them to rent commercial housing near their workplace."
The next big step for the local housing authority is to help people understand and accept the new subsidy approach. As for Xiao Detian, he has well settled down and he is happy and grateful to be able to stay in his cozy new home and focus on his writing. Tang Bo, CGTN, Chengdu, Sichuan Province.