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3.6 mln Xinjiang rural residents move in government-subsidized houses

Updated: 2014-02-21

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URUMQI, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- More than 3.6 million herdsmen and farmers have moved into government-subsidized and quake-resistant houses between 2011 and 2013 in China's farwestern region of Xinjiang, said the regional government on Thursday.


The government has invested 74.25 billion yuan (12.21 billion U.S. dollars) to subsidize 920,900 households to build new houses across the region in three years time, according to the regional housing and urban-rural development department.


The subsidized houses were built with bathroom and kitchen, and have access to tap water, electricity and gas, which were not commonly seen in the households' former houses.


Abdurusul Karim, a farmer from southern Xinjiang's Markit County, moved into his new house last year.


"The government offered me a subsidy of 30,500 yuan. In addition, I spent 40,000 yuan of my savings and borrowed 20,000 yuan from the bank to build the house," he said.


A 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck Xinjiang's Hotan Prefecture on Feb. 12. As the vast majority of rural residents in the area are living in quake-resistant buildings, the tremor was less destructive than people have expected. No casualties have been reported.


In 2014, the region will invest 2.4 billion yuan to construct new houses and apartments for 300,000 households, said the department.