Government pushes forward with affordable housing plan

By Ted Chen, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — State-owned land will be leased at a discounted rate to the private sector for the purposes of developing social housing (社會住宅), said the National Property Administration (NPA, 國有財產局) yesterday.

The NPA stated that the duration of the lease agreements of state-owned land may be as long as 50 years, and duration of superficies up to 70 years, with further discounts to land and property taxes, in addition to lower annual rental prices.

Starting this year, the private sector may develop social housing by renting to people who fit stipulated requirements. Private sector developers will then receive the benefit of numerous discounts if they build the social housing on designated plots of state-owned land.

To meet requirements, a developer must allocate more than 10 percent of housing in a project to people of the special-needs demography, according to the NPA, while citing the Housing Act (住宅法). In addition, the superficies right for social housing will be priced at 10 percent of current land value, according to the NPA.

Moreover, if over 70 percent of capacity is rented to people meeting the requirements of social housing status, the developer’s annual lease payments will be calculated at a discounted rate adjustable to land and property tax rates, said the NPA.

Meanwhile, the development bid to rebuild the aged Ankang public housing project (安康社區) was yesterday awarded to the Ruentex Group (潤泰集團), according to Taipei City officials. The project will provide over 3,303 units of public housing, and will be completed within 7 years, before Mayor Hau’s term is up, pledged Ruentex Group Chairman Samuel Yin (尹衍樑).

The latest project represents the fulfillment of his promise to supply Taipei City residents with over 4,808 units of public housing, said Hau, following the completion of over 3 other previous projects. The Ankang project will represent the flagship public housing project and will hopefully help to change the public’s perception of public housing, while elevating housing standards in its surrounding environment, said Hau.

The Ankang project will have 70 percent of its capacity allocated to the younger demography entering the workforce, with 30 percent allocated to previous inhabitants. Monthly rental rates will be set at 30 percent below the area’s market rate.