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Pandemic hospital turned into housing

By WANG SONGSONG | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-21 09:54
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A makeshift hospital used to treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic in Beijing's Chaoyang district has been converted into affordable rental accommodation.

The former treatment facility in the Jinzhan Qicai Jiayuan community has been turned into 4,910 rooms each of 18 square meters available to the public for 1,200 yuan ($167) a month, without the need for a down payment or other requirements ordinarily found in rental agreements.

Located between the Fifth Ring Road and the Sixth Ring Road, the complex consists of nine colored zones and includes a canteen, supermarket, laundry and charging stations.

The complex goes some way to addressing the capital's shortage of affordable accommodation.

According to the Beijing government, Chaoyang district aims to provide 15,000 affordable rental apartments by the end of this year.

As of Sept 27, Beijing has 75 affordable rental housing projects, providing 111,900 rooms.

Li Jiaqian, a 22-year-old working at a livestreaming e-commerce company, moved into the community about two weeks ago.

"I work in China World Towers. Rent in that area is about 5,000 to 6,000 yuan a month. That's too expensive for me," Li said.

A woman surnamed Cheng moved into the Jinzhan community in October. She said all she wants is a good rest after work.

"My colleague found the community and introduced it to me. I was quite satisfied with the room lighting, so I moved in," she said.

However, such facilities are not without their drawbacks.

In the Jinzhan community, cooking and high-power electrical appliances are not allowed in the rooms. Tap water and electricity are charged at commercial rates, which are higher than those for residential use.

Other areas in China are also converting some of their makeshift hospitals used during the pandemic into affordable accommodation. In January, Jinan in Shandong province turned one into a 650-room complex, Beijing News reported.

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