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Poor take priority with social housing

2014-07-25 13:35 Global Times Web Editor: Qin Dexing

A draft regulation on affordable housing has been stirring controversy in Beijing over recent days. Much of the fury is focused on a proposed rule that would cancel income limits normally imposed on social housing applicants.

Income has always been one of the most important factors when assessing applicants' qualifications for affordable housing. With the social housing system meant to serve low-income families, mid-income earners have long been excluded. Unfortunately, this group also faces difficulties in the open housing market due to current price levels. For this group, Beijing's proposed cancellation of income requirements could be beneficial.

But if this proposed law gets put on the books, it could invite even more problems for the affordable housing system. Would this open the door for high-income earners to purchase a social housing unit? Although they might meet the amended qualification criteria, this would nonetheless represent an abuse of social resources set aside for the poor. Let's hope the government is not so generous.

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