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China allocates 124 bln yuan to fund affordable housing program

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BEIJING, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese central government allocated 124.3 billion yuan (20.2 billion U.S. dollars) in 2015 to fund an affordable housing program to improve people's livelihood and spur economic growth, the Ministry of Finance said on Wednesday.

The money will be used as rent subsidies for low-income families, to fund public rental housing and renovation of shanty towns, according to the ministry.

The affordable housing program, which was approved in 1999, is designed to provide cheaper housing to low-income families who cannot afford to buy a home in cities, where real estate prices skyrocketed over the past years.

Over the past four years, more than 20 million affordable houses were completed across the country, with 12 million under construction, and the assistance fund for building the houses has reached 710 billion yuan, according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-rural Development.

China has set goals to construct 36 million affordable houses between the start of 2011 and the end of 2015.

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