China will invest about 1.3 trillion yuan ($196.9 billion) on building 10 million units of affordable homes in 2011, said Qi Ji, vice minister of housing and urban-rural development on Wednesday.
Of the total, 500 billion yuan will be provided by central and local governments, and the rest will be raised by public institutions and businesses, Qi told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the national legislature.
"What we want to emphasize is that at least 10 percent of net revenue from land sales by local governments must be put into the affordable housing program," he said.
He urged local governments to give priority to affordable housing in the spending of around 200 billion yuan coming from the issuance of local government bonds this year.
As part of the 10-million-unit affordable housing program, 4 million units of low-quality housing will be upgraded this year. Total spending in this regard will reach 500 billion yuan, of which 40 billion yuan will be funded by the central government.
In the past few years, the central government has stepped up measures to rein in soaring housing prices, a major source of public complaint in major Chinese cities. However, property prices have remained stubbornly high.
(Xinhua News Agency March 9, 2011)