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December 6, 2013

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Relocated families start life at affordable houses

Huang Yuqin opened the window of his 15th floor, 60-square-meter new apartment in suburban Huinan Town and looked out at his new neighborhood.

“You have no idea how excited I am to have an apartment like this. I have lived all my life in a 15-squre-meter room, though it was in downtown Jing’an District,” said 65-year-old Huang, who got an apartment from the city government in exchange for her old house which was demolished to make way for urban construction.

Huang is among the 23,000 families who have been relocated from their old homes to a suburb of Shanghai where the government has built over 105,000 affordable houses, the city’s construction and traffic committee said.

“Some 550,000 square meters of old residential buildings have been demolished for new urban development by October, accounting for 80 percent of the annual plan this year,” the committee told a press conference yesterday.

As the city accelerates its urban development in the limited space in downtown, many old residential buildings built in 1950s are being replaced with commercial houses, shopping malls and office buildings.

The former residents, most of whom have lived in the small houses for generations, have been relocated to the suburbs where dozens of affordable housing projects have come up.

The neighborhoods include supporting facilities like schools, hospitals and supermarkets.

Though they moved to remote areas of the city, their living conditions have got better.

They also got subsidies from the government for their relocation. After three years, they can sell their houses according to market prices.

The city’s largest affordable housing neighborhood is in Huinan Town in Pudong and covers 6 square kilometers.

The neighborhood is expected to serve some 162,000 residents.

It is linked with Metro Line 16 and some 19 bus routes. Some 400 apartments have already been assigned to residents of the Hongzhen Old Street in Hongkou District within three days.



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