Accelerate the Development of Housing Security and Supply*
October 29, 2013
Accelerating housing supply is important for meeting the people's basic need for housing and ensuring that all of them have access to housing. It is a requirement for social fairness and justice as well as an important measure for the people to share the fruits of reform and development. Party committees and governments at all levels should exercise better leadership to ensure that all the relevant objectives, tasks, policies and measures are implemented, and regard housing security and supply as a project of good governance that can stand the test of practice, time and the people's expectations.
Housing is an issue related not only to the people's livelihood but also the development of our country. It concerns the people's immediate interests, determines whether they can live and work in contentment, and affects the country's overall economic and social development, as well as social harmony and stability. The Party and government have always attached great importance to the housing issue. Thanks to protracted efforts, great achievements have been made in China's housing industry. However, we must realize that we cannot solve our housing problems overnight as there is still a large number of people having difficulty getting decent housing, a general inadequate supply of basic housing, and an inappropriate and unbalanced allocation of housing resources. Many people lack their own dwelling, so we must be more resolved and make greater efforts to address all the problems standing in the way of housing supply.
In the matter of housing security and supply, we must properly handle the relationship between public services provided by the government and services provided by the market, between the economic and social functions of housing supply, between needs and possibilities, and between the need to provide housing security and the need to avoid total welfare dependence. We must carry out market-oriented reforms in order to fully enliven the market and meet the multilevel needs for housing. However, there are always people who have housing difficulties due to labor skill mismatch, being out of a job or low income, so the government must step in to provide them with basic housing.
As conditions stand in China, we in general should build a housing supply system for the government to provide basic housing security and for the market to satisfy multilevel housing demands. We should review and sum up our experience in housing reform and development, learn from other countries in solving their housing problems, study the rules of housing supply, emphasize top-level design, and speed up the establishment of a uniform, standardized, mature and stable housing supply system. While making every effort to increase the housing supply, we must also do our best to satisfy the people's demands for better housing, establish a sound system of housing standards so that houses are economical, affordable, eco-friendly, energy-conserving and safe, and advocate a housing consumption mode fitting China's conditions.
According to the 12th Five-year Plan1 (2011-2015), the number of basic-need housing units built and houses in run-down areas rebuilt will be 36 million, and by 2015 the basic-need housing coverage will hit around 20 percent. This is a commitment made by the government to the people, and we should do whatever we can to fulfill this promise. We should focus on the development of public-rental housing, build low-rent housing more quickly, and accelerate the rebuilding of houses in all the run-down areas. In carrying out this project, we must do our best according to our abilities, and endeavor to meet the people's basic need for housing. A residence is home to a family, so its quality and safety are essential. We must improve the planning, accompanying facilities and design of housing to meet the basic need.
We should improve supporting policies for housing, give full play to the supportive, guiding and leading roles of such policies, and maximize the enthusiasm and initiative of all sectors. We should improve the land policy, give priority to ensuring that land is used to enhance the people's wellbeing, develop a balanced land supply plan, increase residential land supply, and give priority to allocating land for constructing basic-need housing. We should improve our fiscal policy and use more public funds to build such housing. We should adopt policies and measures to encourage enterprises and other institutions to build and manage public-rental housing. We should also actively explore systems and mechanisms for non-profit organizations to build and manage basic-need housing, so that all sides involved can join forces in this endeavor.
Building basic-need housing is a great endeavor that benefits both the country and the people, but to accomplish this task and ensure that those in need get housing we must strengthen management, and establish procedures for entry, use and exit of such housing, so as to ensure that people have fair access to public resources. We must make sure that basic-need housing is fairly allocated, and that the people who are entitled to it get it. We must stop illegal acquisition of basic-need housing, and block institutional loopholes in this regard. Those who acquire basic-need housing illegally must be punished in accordance with laws and regulations.
* Main points of the speech at the tenth group study session of the Political Bureau of the 18th CPC Central Committee which Xi presided over.
1 The 12th Five-year Plan refers to the 12th Five-year Plan for National Economic and Social Development of the People's Republic of China.
(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)