If you want to live in a big city but have a tight budget, you may want to avoid places where housing costs are rising year over year, such as Taipei, Tokyo or Singapore. If you live in Shanghai; however, you should know that the Shanghai Land (Group) Co, the largest Chinese government-funded affordable housing developer, plans to provide 300 affordable apartments for young people from Taiwan who are working or running businesses in Shanghai.
An agreement was reportedly signed on Thursday with the Shanghai committee of the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League and the Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises in Shanghai to help young people from Taiwan reduce their living costs and better settle down in the city.
The apartments are located in six residential complexes in the Pudong New Area and Putuo, Xuhui and Minhang districts, with basic furniture, electronic appliance and cookware. They are all near Metro stations with shopping malls, hospitals and schools less than 3 kilometers away. Rents are between 60 yuan (US$8.5) and 87 yuan per square meter, which is below nearby neighborhoods. From one-bedroom to three-bedroom, the apartments are for individuals or families.
Lin Ping, a 30-year-old man running a startup in Shanghai, said he came to the Chinese mainland about five years ago. He began with a job in Kunshan in neighboring Jiangsu Province as he found the salary there was double the income he earned in Taiwan. He came to Shanghai later as he believes there were more business opportunities, but he found the living cost higher.
“The house rent is so high that I have to share a two-bedroom apartment with another man,” he said. “There’s less privacy when living with others and I’m also worried that the house owner would raise the price frequently. The government-funded housing seems more stable.”
Lin now pays nearly 4,000 yuan a month (NT$17,346), which is enough for a one-bedroom apartment in some of the residential complexes provided by Shanghai Land. “Meanwhile, with apartments provided for young people from Taiwan, we can live together and have more gatherings,” he added.
Chang Chien-chen, director of the Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises in Shanghai, said the organization has been building up platforms for cross-Strait communication and providing internships and jobs for young people from Taiwan.
“The new agreement will solve some worries of young Taiwan people and help them settle down in Shanghai with confidence to build up a better future,” she said.
Lee Cheng-hung, president of the Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises on the mainland, said the agreement is one of the city’s latest efforts to carry out the central government’s and Shanghai’s policies in favor of Taiwan people to ensure they enjoy the same welfare as mainlanders.
“The 300 apartments are a beginning,” he said. “There are more than 10,000 young people from Taiwan in Shanghai. We will try to offer more affordable housing to benefit more after we establish a smooth process for operation with the first 300.”
Editors: Liu Qi, DB