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Richard Tomlinson and Orli Bass

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Ka Ling Cheung, Jennifer Day, Hao Wu and Richard Tomlinson

This chapter provides an overview of national housing policy evolution in China. The review of housing policy shifts in China demonstrates a transformation from the socialist welfare housing system to a market-oriented housing system, and more recently, to stronger and more direct government intervention in public housing provision. Meanwhile, with the growing complexity in urban housing provision, a new form of public housing provision system has emerged in Chinese cities. There is an evolving focus on different housing schemes and it has begun to shift to public rental housing (PRH), which is now positioned as a major scheme of public housing provision. Given that research on Chinese housing policy has been mainly focused at the national level, this chapter has a specific interest in local-level housing policy condition and implementation. It investigates PRH policy in two Chinese cities to identify forces driving local housing policy. It examines multi-layer public housing provision policies with a specific focus on PRH schemes. The analysis found divergence and diversity of public housing policy in different cities and local jurisdictions in Chongqing and Shenzhen. Local socio-economic and urban development contexts of Chongqing and Shenzhen are consistent with observed inter-city policy variation and divergence.