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      More affordable housing in city on the horizon

      Shanghai will step up efforts to establish a housing system that encourages both home purchases and rentals, as it continues to foster the residential leasing market and increase the supply of affordable housing to meet housing demand, according to officials from the Shanghai Housing Administration Bureau.

      By 2025, the total supply of residential leasing units in the city, both newly built and those transferred from multiple sources, will reach 400,000, 90 percent of which will be small- to medium-size apartments. Leasing units refer to apartments as well as rented rooms and beds.

      This year, about 10,000 newly built rental apartments will be added in the city, which currently has about 110,000 such units under construction, according to Feng Ganghua, director of the bureau's housing construction and supervision division.

      "We'll definitely accelerate our pace in expanding the city's residential leasing market over the coming five years with a focus on increasing the supply of small- to medium-size apartments," Feng said. "We strive to meet housing demand for two particular groups — innovative and entrepreneurial people and workers who provide public services."

      During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), Shanghai earmarked 152 parcels solely for residential leasing, on which 220,000 apartments will be built. About half of those parcels are located in non-rural areas or accessible by Metro lines.

      To cater to the needs of low- to medium-income households, Shanghai will add another 8,000 public-rent apartments this year. What's more, 30,000 to 40,000 public-rent units already deployed under the public-rent program will hit the market again during the 12-month period when previous contracts terminate.

      The housing authority has pledged to lower the application threshold for low-rent homes and progress with the shared ownership program.

      So far, more than 133,000 households have benefited from low-rent homes and 127,500 households by the shared ownership program.

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