Xiongan New Area (Zhai Yujia/China News Service)
Xiongan New Area in Hebei province is exploring the establishment of a housing system that handles both rentals and housing price controls and strives to meet the housing needs of all people in the area.
"The system is good for healthy urban development, can allow our people to gain a stronger sense of fulfillment and happiness, and can also help Xiongan attract advanced development resources," Liu Baoling, executive deputy director of the administrative committee of Xiongan, said at a seminar on Saturday.
Previous urban development was mostly driven by the real estate market, which has pushed up housing prices and affected the pace of development, Liu said, adding that Xiongan should innovate and create a new housing system to adapt to the area's role as an innovation hub.
According to Liu, the house-rental system will be point-based and apply to both newcomers and locals on a voluntary basis.
Those who are involved in the system can accumulate points based on aspects such as professional conduct during the rental process, personal credit, conduct for public benefit and protecting the environment, said Xu Xiaowei, general manager of Xiongan Lyuyan Thinktank Co, which is participating in the study of the points-based house-rental system.
The points will be managed using blockchain technology, a distributed and transparent computing system that uses cryptography to store information in a continuously growing list of records.
It will be an important reference for tenants or landlords to apply for further rental-related services and to facilitate the purchase of homes with a long-term perspective, Xu said.
After they have lived and worked in Xiongan for a certain number of years, residents can buy the homes they live in but cannot sell them for a certain period, according to a report by the Xiongan WeChat account.
The report said even if they are allowed to sell their homes after a certain time period, the government would still have the priority to buy back the property to avoid speculation.
"We must not forget that housing is for living in, not for speculation," said the report of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, released in October.
Liu said the system will keep the terms of the report in mind and make efforts to establish a housing system that ensures supply through multiple sources, provides housing support through multiple channels, and encourages both home purchases and rentals, with the latter being the main means.
The points-based system should not only connect the points with renting or purchasing homes, but also with people's access to other public resources such as education, employment, medical services and elderly care, Zhang Dayu, vice-president of Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, said during the seminar.