Sat, Feb 03, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Social housing plan on track: agency

Staff writer, with CNA

The government’s social housing initiative is progressing well, with almost 10,000 units already on the market and thousands more under construction, the Construction and Planning Agency said on Thursday.

The government aims to put about 200,000 social housing units on the market over an eight-year period for rent at concessionary rates to people in a certain income bracket, the agency said.

Of that number, 120,000 are to be constructed by the government, while 80,000 are to be acquired and renovated, agency data showed.

Since the project got off the ground in 2016, the government has put 9,773 social housing units on the market, 2,514 of which were built last year, the data showed.

Another 10,000 units are under construction, and by the end of 2020, the total number on the market should be 49,000, in line with the government’s goals, the agency said.

The housing units are being managed by the agency, while eligibility requirements are set by local governments, but generally applicants must be at least 20 years old, be able to demonstrate financial need and have a household registration in the city where they are applying.

When the initiative was launched last year, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and her administration said they were making social housing one of their top priorities, as many young professionals can barely afford to pay rent, much less buy an apartment.

In a discussion of what constitutes “Taiwanese values,” Tsai and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) agreed that safeguarding young people’s right to housing was one of those values.

Tsai had earlier said that social housing projects would be prioritized in the nation’s three most densely populated cities: Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan.

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