(Research Project) M.Urb.
This study examines the issue of housing inequality in Beijing, and how urban low and middle-income families gain access to affordable houses. By analyzing the housing price-to-income ratio (PIR) and affordable housing supply and demand, this project reveals how serious the affordability issue is in Beijing. Interviews with residents living in affordable houses are explored to show how Beijing residents deal with the unaffordability of housing, as well as their personal experiences with inequality. Affordable housing policy documents are also examined to explore how policy-makers are trying to resolve the problems of inequality. The project finds that although both social networks (guanxi) and money pay offs play a role in the affordable housing allocation process, lack of policy regulation and poor implementation are the major causes of inequality in housing accessibility. Drawing lessons from Hong Kong and Singapore, the study makes recommendations for Beijing’s affordable housing development.
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