What is affordable housing in China? Evidence from Nanjing, China
||You, Jia; Wu, Hao; Han, Sun Sheng
||What is affordable housing in China? Evidence from Nanjing, China
||18th Annual European Real Estate Society Conference in Eindhoven, the Netherlands
||Affordable housing has been built in many countries all over the world. Yet the term ‘affordable housing’ is interpreted and defined very differently despite a shared focus on housing the less well-off population group. In China, ‘affordable housing’ was firstly introduced by the central government in 1991, and it quickly received enormous attention in both policy and practice in the past three decades. Although it is regarded as a direct approach of government intervention to assist lower income family housing needs, its official definition changed together with its development scales. Moreover, developers as well as local government officials have used their own definitions of ‘affordable housing’ in housing policies and projects at local level. Thus, affordable housing in China connotes a wide range of meanings even though there is a definition from the central government. This paper examines the interpretation of affordable housing in China’s practical world, by using Nanjing as a case study. Data is collected from statistical yearbooks, government policy documents, as well as semi-structured interviews. These interviews involved property developers, municipal government officials and district government officials, and were conducted during the period 12. 2009 – 12. 2010. The study found that in addition to provide living spaces for low- and middle-income groups, which is a main policy goal shared among the countries, the Chinese government had a different expectation from ‘affordable housing’. China’s central government wants to use affordable housing as one of the means to establish a Chinese housing system, to stimulate the growth of the related industries, and to promote economic growth of the whole country. Local governments have their own ways of interpreting the term ‘affordable housing’, characterized by a deviation from the official policy statements but embedded in local politics and economy. The developers’ interpretation is still different, reflecting the profit seeking behaviour in a transitional economy. Understanding of these key interpretations is critical for affordable housing to benefit its target population.
||Affordable housing, public policy, Nanjing, China
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||C2: Low Income Housing
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