Netizens whine about government's pledge to build more subsidized housing

The past decade saw skyrocketing property prices nagging low-income and even middle-income Chinese families in a serious way. So, to help relieve the tension, it seems, the government has put subsidized housing project on their top agenda.

At the press conference of the 18th CPC National Congress yesterday, Jiang Weixin, the minister of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development promised that during the 12th Five-Year plan period, a total of 36 million subsidized apartments would be built. “We already completed 10 million last year and 7 million this year; although the quota for the next year has not been set yet, I could guarantee, it would not be lesser than 6 million sets,” he also admitted “although fair distribution would be tough to implement, they would do their best.

The utterance soon drew wide attention on weibo, China’s twitter, while the negative comments apparently win over the supporting ones. 

@Haoran Zhongtian: If there would be 36 million subsidized apartments, then every thirteen families (dividing the whole population of 1.4 billion into nuclear families) could be provided one. Would such a huge project be fully funded? And even if the investment could be guaranteed, how would our government distribute the houses? I could not believe our Mr. Minister really promised that. 

@Sohu focal point: According to the data released by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, this year (from January to October) saw 7.22 million subsidized apartments completed, with a total investment of RMB1, 080 billion. For the same period, the highway construction drew in RMB 1,330 billion and railway used an investment of RMB425 billion. So, the subsidized housing revenue is much more than railway with a less investment.   

Xiao Longping@: Those families who have earned subsidized housing have other properties in their names. They would just move into the subsidized one and keep their old place a rental. Thus, what’s the point of this subsidy project? They shut out those really poor families and feed all the benefits to lazy indigenous people. 
@ Campanulales: I heard about subsidized housing all the times, but I never saw anyone I know move into one. 

@Warner Chen Yi: All the subsidies would finally go to those well-off families. Yesterday, I chatted with a friend, who is a civil servant in charge of distributing subsidized housing. He told me, “The government is running the project on a tight budget, so, all such houses now demand a payment in lump sum. So, although low-income families are eligible for filing the applications, they still could not afford it.” The officer disclosed that he saw many apartments already distributed ended up registering in a different name but not the original applicant. Every one could know, the ownership of the house has been transferred.

@early summer 1996: It was reported that foreign media are led by our government officers into subsidized apartments for a visit. Because of the comfortable interior and pleasant outdoors environment, the reporters from abroad all signed in admiration that Chinese poor people are quite lucky. Oh, my god, we just don’t know what to say. So, no comment.

@Dong Yingqun: Every year witnessed construction of so many subsidized residential buildings. If so many needy families are satisfied, then, how could the prices for commercial buildings still surge high?

@Bo Yaoyao: Many eligible families have to waive their right in the middle of the application, because they are mostly jobless and thus could not get loans from commercial banks, and they could not afford the required payment in lump sum. The policies are easier said than done.

@Luo Wenbin: I never heard anyone I know earn the subsidized housing. We should be rest assured that good things would never go to average people in China.

@lilac2060: Sadly, I recently found that, in the community I am renting in, per square meter price has risen to 30, 000 yuan from the former 24, 000 Yuan around half a year ago. So, I have nothing to say except for the fact that house properties have been shooting up.

@Yang Shaofeng: Property purchases made by migrant families are actually the main force which pushed up the prices. They are more desperate to find a place to settle down. In big cities like Beijing or Shanghai, the number of migrant families equals to the indigenous ones, but they are shut out of the subsidized housing project. In my opinion, that’s the weakness of the policy, and that’s also why property prices are not dragged down by the well-meaning policy.

@fat cat: During the press conference, Zhang Jiahe, a primary school student reporter asked Minister Jiang Weixin an interesting question. “Houses are too expensive in China. The parents of my classmates have used up their money, so, they could not buy toys for their children. Could we do something to help them?” Jiang answered, “I hope you could study hard now, and I believe that one day, the problem would have its solution.” 


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