Mega homes project ready in Beijing


   The construction of Beijing's largest public rental housing project has been completed, and its first tenants will move in next month, authorities said on Tuesday.

  The project, in Jingyuan Lu in Shijingshan district, has eight 28-story buildings containing 2,436 public rental housing units, according to Zou Jinsong, deputy director of Beijing's housing security office.
  The project also has a kindergarten and a nursing home.
  Zou told reporters from China and abroad on Tuesday that the final phase was to check the quality of every unit and make sure any problems are rectified.
  Reporters were invited to the project by the media center of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
  Gao Kuiqing, a 50-year-old migrant worker from Henan province, said on Tuesday that the public rental housing policy was great because it helped low-income residents.
  He started to work on the project site at the beginning of this year. Now his job is to check the quality of units with other workers.
  A training room was set up on the construction site for migrant workers to receive skills training and to deal with safety issues and other regulations, said Wang Zhiming, a manager from Beijing Construction Engineering Group, which is responsible for the construction.
  He said although the construction cost of public rental housing is low, it requires high standards of quality.
  The process of equipment testing has been completed and now they are working hard to fix any problems to satisfy the checks from the government, Wang said.
  During the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) period, the Beijing government plans to build more than 1 million affordable houses, including these public rental units.
  The project in Jingyuan Lu started on March 30 last year.
  The project is a trial program which has done away with the stipulation that only residents of Shijingshan district may apply to live in the subsidized housing in that area. Eligible applicants from other districts or counties in Beijing are able to apply to rent the houses, said a publicity official of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
  Low and middle-income earners, new employees and those who are not permanent residents but have worked in the city for a certain number of years, are eligible to apply for public rental housing in Beijing, according to a regulation that took effect in December 2011.
  The rental price will be 40 yuan ($6.40) per square meter.
  According to the current policy, the rent is slightly lower than that of neighboring housing, but tenants will get subsidies on rent on the basis of their income levels and housing size, with the maximum subsidy being up to 95 percent of the rent.
  On Monday, Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development Jiang Weixin said the country will start the construction of about 6 million affordable housing units next year.
  The minister said at a news conference during the 18th Party congress that the government will work on seeing affordable housing fairly distributed.
  Zheng Jinran contributed to this story.