Five real estate enterprises in Tianjin are reportedly willing to purchase apartments damaged during the recent blasts. They hope to refurbish and sell them in the future, media reported on Tuesday. [Special coverage]
The enterprises have formed a coalition in their bid to help residents affected by the blasts. Di Da, chief executive of the Tianjin Real Estate Development Management Group Co Ltd, one of the coalition companies, was on Tuesday quoted by the China News Service as saying that they were in discussions about the purchase.
"As State-owned enterprises, we take up our social responsibility," an employee surnamed Wang from Tianjin House Construction Development Group Co Ltd, another one of the five-member coalition, told the Global Times.
He said negotiations were ongoing as to the way forward in the purchasing, repairing and selling of the damaged buildings. He noted that their implementation would depend on the government's schedule.
An official surnamed Cao from Binhai district in Tianjin confirmed to the Global Times that senior executives from the five enterprises approached the government to consult on the future planning and development of the residential environment near the blast area as well as an estimate of the property market prices.
Cao said that any refurbishing plans about the damaged apartments would put the residents' interests first.
The August 12 blasts damaged 17,000 households to varying degrees and seven residential communities were seriously affected, according to Xinhua News Agency.
Residents from the seven most affected communities recently protested to demand local government to buy their houses as compensation.
Pang Yu, a resident representative, told the Global Times that residents are asking local government to give a more detailed plan, including the possible prices that will be offered by the enterprises or the cost of repairs.
According to Xinhua, the Tianjin government will carry out an assessment before deciding which houses will be repaired. The assessments, they said, should be conducted by professional agencies, which have yet to be identified.
Tianjin vice mayor Zong Guoying was quoted by Xinhua as saying that resident representatives can oversee the assessment process to ensure transparency as well as to keep track on the progress.