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Chinese ministry allocates additional 18 bln yuan to fund public housing

From : Xinhua

 (photo from Xinhua)

BEIJING, May 20, 2011 -- The Chinese Ministry of Finance (MOF) said Friday it has added an additional 18 billion yuan (2.77 billion U.S. dollars) in subsidies to fund public housing projects across the country.

The central government's new subsidies raise the total of funds earmarked to support construction of affordable housing projects to 61.7 billion yuan, according to the MOF.

China's affordable housing plan aims to offer low-rent housing and public rental housing units to low-and middle-income groups. The funds will also be used to help local governments renovate run-down areas and build other related infrastructure facilities, the MOF said in a statement on its website.

Of the total subsidies, 11.7 billion yuan will go to the low-rent housing program, 34 billion to public rental housing, and 16 billion for renovation projects in run-down urban areas, according to the MOF statement.

The government plans to build 10 million units of affordable housing this year and 36 million by 2015 to offer alternatives for home buyers in cities where average property prices almost doubled during the past two years.

Housing prices in major cities showed mixed growth in April, with more cities reporting month-on-month increases in new commercial housing prices from March, and lower prices for resold housing units, according to figures released Wednesday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Prices of new commercial homes in April increased from the previous month in 56 of the 70 cities surveyed by the NBS, compared to 50 cities reporting month-on-month growth in March.

New home prices declined from a month ago in nine cities while prices went unchanged in five cities, and 26 cities posted lower monthly price gains than in March. All of the cities that experienced home price hikes posted increases of less than 1 percent, the NBS said.

Just 41 cities reported month-on-month price increases for resold housing units in April, down from 44 in March, according to the NBS.

Sixteen cities reported month-on-month price declines for secondhand homes in April.