Market mechanism alone can't solve house problem

Updated: 2007-02-23 08:32

The Chinese Ministry of Construction has called for more governmental efforts to guide house prices when developing small and medium-sized houses for residential need.

The government should set limits on house sizes and prices when picking developers in public bidding for those housing projects, said Minister of Construction Wang Guangtao recently.

"We have learnt from past experience that we can't solve the problem of social injustice by only relying on the market mechanism in housing, which is a basic human right and social guarantee," said Wang.

Official statistics showed that the average price of newly-built commercial residential houses in 70 large- and medium-sized Chinese cities gained 6.1 percent year on year last month, with the southern metropolis Shenzhen recording the highest growth of 10.2 percent.

The ministry has committed itself to extending the low-rent housing system to cover all cities and counties by the end of this year.

The supply of low-priced affordable houses will be improved and regulated to benefit low-income families, said Wang.

China has 1.56 million urban families with no access to adequate affordable housing, most of whom still live in overcrowded and dilapidated homes, according to a report released by the China Society for Urban Studies.

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