Chinese home dreams come true

Updated: 2021-06-29 China Daily


A housing renewal project is seen under construction in Dongguan, Guangdong province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Since ancient times, Chinese scholars and officials have pictured an ideal world in which every family has a home of their own.

That dream is coming true as the country prepares to celebrate the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. The quality of newly built housing has improved continuously and housing conditions in established homes have also been upgraded.

Li Shuqi, 43, is a typical beneficiary of those changes. Li and her parents used to live in a 16-square-meter room in a narrow alley in Shanghai, with a shared kitchen outside. Li called the room multifunctional-it was the bedroom at night, a living room during the day, and a shower and bathroom whenever it needed to be.

But the living conditions were still much better than in the small home they shared with her aunt in a shantytown in Shanghai's Changning district before she was 5. The walls there were so thin they could hear the neighbors if they spoke even a little loudly.

Li's life improved significantly in 1988, when the family moved into a much bigger two-bedroom apartment, meaning she could finally have her own bedroom. She also no longer had to clean the wooden toilet anymore, as their new home had a flush toilet.

Her story is an example of China's achievements in improving people's living conditions. The per capita urban housing floor area last year was 40.5 square meters, up from 8.3 sq m in 1949, said Shaun Brodie, senior director and head of occupier research for China with Cushman & Wakefield, citing data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

In addition to improved housing conditions, China saw more than 38 million low-income families move into public rental housing by the end of last year, with nearly 22 million receiving rental subsidies, Brodie said.

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