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More land to build rental homes

SHANGHAI will continue to increase land supply to build rental houses, the city’s top planning body said yesterday.

As a key part of the government’s land management plan, “the lands for rental houses will be largely increased, while those for commercial houses will rise steadily,” said Xu Yisong, director of the Shanghai Planning, Land and Resources Administration.

The supplies of affordable homes, including joint-ownership properties, will be guaranteed, he added. It is also part of the city’s “2040 Master Plan” which includes long-term measures to stabilize the real estate market.

“Rental houses will mainly be built near places with dense employment, main industrial sites and Metro stations,” Xu told a press conference. “The city will increase the land supply for housing and ensue the proportion of medium and small-size apartments,” he added.

Fifteen plots of land covering 500,000 square meters have been allocated for construction of rental houses, said Cen Fukang, deputy director of the administration. Most of them are in downtown or near major industrial and scientific parks as well as Metro stations.

The city government wants to emphasize that “houses are for people to live in, rather than for speculation.”

These rental homes will boast energy-saving features and are comfortable to live in. Supportive facilities such as sports, entertainment and commercial sites will be built nearby to “create a harmonious neighborhood atmosphere,” Cen said.

Shanghai has also been implementing the central government’s trial operations on joint-ownership properties, Cen said. These properties refer to homes in which city governments and home buyers share ownership. When the homes are sold, buyers pay back a certain portion of the profit.

The city has planned public rental houses in 22 major residential communities, Cen said, adding that many of them include joint-ownership properties.

The scheme on trial in Shanghai and Beijing aims to provide affordable housing to people who have difficulties in purchasing a home and push supply-side reform in the housing sector, said a notice from the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.

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