China is encouraging local governments to make full use of their financing vehicles in 2012 in an effort to boost financial support for low-income housing projects, the country's top economic planner said Monday.
The central government has scaled up financial support for low-income housing in 2012, and local governments should follow suit, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on its website.
Local governments should make extensive use of their financing vehicles to raise money via both direct and indirect channels, spurring the social capital to invest in low-income housing projects, the NDRC said.
This year is the second year of the government's low-income housing program for the 12th Five Year Plan (2011-2015) and will see the greatest amount of units built, the NDRC said.
The number of low-income housing under construction will reach 18 million units this year, with 5 million expected to be finished, according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
China has vowed to build 36 million affordable housing units during the 2011-2015 period in a bid to meet the demand of low income families, as well as take some heat out of the runaway property market. In 2011, it started construction of 10 million units.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Finance also said the central and local governments' financial support for affordable housing will be greater than 2011.
Revenue from local government bond sales in 2012 will be prioritized to support low-income housing projects, while revenue from property taxes, now being implemented on a trial basis in the cities of Shanghai and Chongqing, will be earmarked for the initiative, the ministry said.
In January, none of the 70 major cities monitored by the National Bureau of Statistics reported an increase in new home prices, with 48 cities experiencing drops from a month earlier.