Authorities said they will pay residents 1.3 times homes' market value
Residents in Tianjin affected by the deadly warehouse explosions in August said they are not satisfied with a local government offer to either repair their homes or ask private companies to purchase their houses at 1.3 times their market value. [Special coverage]
The government of the Binhai New Area released the proposal on its official Sina Weibo on Tuesday.
The August 12 blasts in Tianjin affected 17,000 homes in seven residential areas, with the Haigangcheng and Qihang communities suffering the most serious damage.
"We will not accept the compensation offer because we cannot could get a new house of the same quality as the current one or in a good area," an owner from the Haigangcheng community, surnamed Pang, told the Global Times.
The average home price in the Haigangcheng community on August 11, the day before the blasts, was 11,000 yuan ($1,724) per square meter. Under the current proposal, homeowners are expected to receive 14,300 yuan per square meter. But Pang said the current price in some areas with the same support facilities is higher than 14,300 yuan per square meter.
The lowest price of another community in Binhai New Area of the same quality as those in the Haigangcheng community reached 15,000 yuan per square meter at the beginning of September, a real estate agent surnamed Li told the Global Times.
According to the offer, homeowners should use the money to buy apartments being offered by the government in nearby communities, with prices ranging from 6,800 to 8,800 yuan per square meter.
Another homeowner from the Jinyulanwan community who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Wednesday that she will also reject the offer, calling it a great psychological letdown to move from a high-grade residential area to government apartments.
According to Tianjin authorities, 9,420 residents have signed up for the government's offer as of September 3.
The proposal also says the government could help homeowners who choose to repair their apartments restore windows and doors and renovate the public areas in the buildings, and give homeowners 16 percent of their transaction price as compensation.
A Tianjin official said on Tuesday that the government will start repairing the apartments in Haigangcheng and Qihangjiayuan on September 14 to allow residents to return before the start of winter.