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Bingqin Li

Housing continues to be one of the three most pressing concerns among all social policy areas, inciting strong public outcry. High housing prices are considered to be an important cause of the low life satisfaction among urban residents, in particular among new university graduates and migrant workers. The strong discontent over housing affordability, to a great extent, reflects the inability of the Chinese housing policy to address pressing urban housing needs. Using secondary sources and primary research carried out by the author, this chapter provides an historical review tracing the different stages of China’s housing reform. It argues that despite the radical changes in the housing market, the logic behind Chinese housing policies at different stages of the reform is in essence similar to that during the Central Planning period (1953–1977), even in the context of recent reforms, which claim to be people oriented. The seemingly improved inclusiveness of the new housing welfare system in China is a response to labour market changes rather than an effort to satisfy the housing needs of urban citizens.

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Bingqin Li