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“Ying Bao Jin Bao”?

An Empirical Evaluation of the Cheap Rental Housing System in Beijing, China

Chengdong Yi and Youqin Huang

July 2013, English

With skyrocketing housing price and extremely low housing affordability in Chinese cities, the Chinese government has set up the goal of “ying bao jin bao”—providing housing subsidies to all needy households. This paper empirically evaluates the Cheap Rental Housing (CRH) system in Beijing. Reviewing CRH policy in Beijing, we find that Beijing Municipal Government has significantly improved its policy design for and strengthened its commitment to CRH in recent years with an expanded target population, a mixture of different subsidy methods, and more detailed management regulations to ensure efficiency and equity. However, there is a huge gap between policies and practices. Our empirical analysis of the application and allocation results shows that while the number of beneficiaries has increased significantly over time, the actual coverage of CRH is extremely low. The goal of “ying bao jin bao” remains a distant policy target far from the reality even by 2010.

Keywords: cheap rental housing, low-income housing, housing policy, China, local government, urban, urban planning