Editor's note: The government must make sure the right people get affordable housing. It is in the interest of this country's political and social stability and long-term development.
Government-subsidized housing for low-income residents is one way to redistribute social wealth and ensure decent living conditions for those who can hardly afford commercial housing.
Giving the right people access to such housing is a challenge for government and affects social stability.
There have been reports that a number of residents who live in such subsidized housing drive luxurious cars like BMW or Audi. The latest reports show that 299 of all applicants who have passed preliminary examinations for such apartments in the city of Shenzhen are government employees. Some reports show that a number of these applicants are now living in very expensive homes.
Despite explanations from affected local government departments about the living standards of these employees, the facts show that some unqualified people get such houses through deception. Local governments involved are also not doing enough to ensure that the right people stay in these homes.
When government employees stay in subsidized houses that are half the price of commercial ones, that points to corruption and a problematic policy that favors privileged groups such as civil servants and people with powerful connections, and erodes social justice and equality.
Even more dangerous, affected low-income residents will very likely despair and lose confidence in their government. That is exactly the root cause of a number of conflicts between some residents and local authorities.
Making sure the right people get affordable housing is in the interest of this country's political and social stability and long-term development.
(China Daily 04/13/2010 page8)