China spends heavily on government-subsidized housing

Builders work at a property construction site in Huai’an, Jiangsu province. [Photo by Zhou Changguo/For China Daily]

BEIJING – China’s fiscal spending on government-subsidized housing saw a rapid increase in 2018 amid government efforts to curb housing speculation and improve people’s livelihood.

Fiscal expenditures on government-subsidized housing projects totaled 737.2 billion yuan ($107 billion) last year, up 46.4 percent year-on-year, the Ministry of Finance said in an online statement.

The funds helped the renovation of 6.26 million shantytown units in urban areas and 1.9 million dilapidated houses in rural areas, and supported the construction of the matching facilities for 300,000 public rental housing, the ministry said.

The ministry vowed to strengthen supervision and management of the funds for government-subsidized housing in 2019, and standardize the financing for shantytown renovation projects.

The country saw stable housing prices last year amid government control policies under the principle of “houses are for living in, not for speculation.”