China's New Urbanization Plan and Affordable Housing Development: A Case Study of Guangzhou
Friday, November 13, 2015
Riverfront South/Central (Hyatt Regency Miami)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
China’s State Council released the “National New-type Urbanization Plan” to further promote economic growth and modernization due to the profound changes in the international economic environment and downward pressures on its economy. To achieve goal of unleashing domestic demand, one of the main measures is promoting the large-scale construction of affordable housing projects to solve housing problem facing the urban low- and middle-income families and gradually provide housing for rural migrant workers when they arrive in the city instead of merely curbing housing prices. According to recent reports, this ambitious strategy has stirred up a new wave of affordable housing development and coverage extension. On the other hand, local governments are still reluctant to promote affordable housing due to the conflicts between land revenues and financial burdens. With the purpose of investigating the correlation between urbanization plan enhanced and affordable housing development, this study is composed of two components: a internet survey and a series of in-depth interviews. They will be conducted in Guangzhou city, one of the most affluent cities and target of migrants. It aims at evaluating not only the attitudes of local government official to this new urbanization plan, but also investigating how and to what extent this urbanization strategy promote construction and development of affordable housing. In light of the two-section investigations, more than 90% respondents indicated the city has received further financial and policy supports from both the municipal government and higher levels authorities. However, one of the crucial elements—land availability—continues the top challenge of affordable housing development as about 94% of officials pointed out the tension of land supply will be more serious in the following 5-10 years. Surprisingly, instead of local budgeting concerns or financial burdens, lack of labor resources (insufficient officials) in the housing bureau has become the second primary concern with further policy implementation. Owing to insufficient land supply and human resources, the overall policy implementation in Guangzhou generated low performance and left behind from the uniform state goals. As a result, some policy implications are likely to be made to fulfill the aggressive urbanization goals of the central government in accordance with local situations.