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SZ plans to boostrental housing supply

Release time:2017-08-31    To share:  

SHENZHEN’S urban planning authority is soliciting public opinion on a pro-rental policy on its official website and WeChat account in a move to accelerate the cultivation and development of Shenzhen’s rental housing market, reported Monday.

Shenzhen has the largest rental market in the country with a formed rental housing consumption pattern in terms of the rental housing ratio and the population ratio of people representing rental demand.

Urban-village apartments with lower rent have become the most important part of the real estate market in Shenzhen. Official figures from the city’s urban planning commission showed that about 70 percent of the city’s rented apartments are in urban villages.

It not only solves the housing problem of a large population, but also becomes the “first stop” of graduates and migrant workers coming to the city. Also, it is an important pillar for attracting talents and young people.

The authority plans to purchase, rent and renovate 1 million apartments in urban villages and put them into the city’s rental market.

According to He Qianru, director of the national research center of Midland Realty, the number of 1 million apartments accounts for about 20 to 30 percent of the city’s total in urban villages.

The apartments will be managed by State-owned companies set up exclusively for regulating the rental housing market. The managed apartments will hopefully solve problems such as rental disorder, safety hazards, unstable leasing and unequal public services commonly seen in urban villages.

The housing rental proposal is aimed at strengthening the management of the chaotic rental market, with the starting point of improving the laws and regulations and promoting the top-level design of leasing management.

Currently, tenants do not have the same access to some public services as those who own properties in the city.

For example, tenants have certain restrictions in accessing public school education, which homeowners do not have. The restrictions reduce the attractiveness of rental housing and spur more house purchases, which will further raise home prices.

Under the proposed new policy, tenants who have rented houses for a number of years are exempted from the restrictions and have access to public services like homeowners do.

It is also proposed that the proportion of workers who use housing funds to pay rent should be raised, and that housing fund management departments should shorten the wait time for relevant procedures. Learning from the experience in the United States, the issuance of housing rental vouchers for low-income groups can help such families choose residential housing freely in the market with rental housing vouchers offsetting part of the rent. The model can maximize the effectiveness, flexibility and difference of housing security.

The proposal mentioned that it is necessary to solve the imbalance between the legality of leasing and illegality of housing property rights, increase urban villages’ leasing public services and put forward the safety standards in urban villages.

In line with the overall urban planning and short-term construction plan, it is suggested that as rental demand is relatively focused on industry clusters and populous areas, the areas should increase the renewal proportion of rental residences, and the renovated business apartments and apartment offices with living functions should be for rent and not for sale in principle.

In addition, the proposal allows completed but vacant commercial buildings to be converted into rental housing in accordance with the urban planning and public support requirements. The public services support facilities shall be allocated simultaneously, and can be operated on a large-scale basis by leasing enterprises.

(Zhang Yu)