BEIJING, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- China completed the building of 5.11 million affordable houses in urban areas in 2014, with 2.29 million such projects under way, surpassing the goals set at the beginning of the year, the State Council announced at a press briefing on Friday.
The central government granted 198 billion yuan (32.35 billion U.S. dollars) to fund urban affordable housing projects in 2014, an increase of 25.1 billion yuan from the previous year, according to Qi Ji, deputy head of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-rural Development.
Throughout the past four years, more than 20 million affordable houses were completed, with 12 million under construction, and the assistance fund for building the houses has reached 710 billion yuan, according to Qi.
China has set goals to construct 36 million affordable houses, also called state-subsidized housing, public housing, or social housing, between the start of 2011 and the end of 2015.
"This year is the final year of the Twelfth Five-Year plan (2011-2015), and the government will accelerate the affordable housing project with a focus on transforming the shanty towns," Qi said.
The Chinese government has been rolling out an affordable housing scheme since 2007, in an effort to provide homes to people unable to buy them at market prices. The efforts are also aimed at helping counter the slowdown in the property market in recent years.