BEIJING, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- China's housing authority has endorsed a pilot joint ownership housing scheme in Beijing and Shanghai, as part of government efforts to stabilize the property market.
The scheme aims to provide affordable housing to households that have difficulties in purchasing a home and push supply-side reform in the housing sector, said a notice issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
The notice said that the scheme should be in line with the view of central authorities that "houses are built to be lived in, not for speculation."
According to a document published by Beijing local authorities, individual buyers will be able to buy homes with property rights to be shared by the government and buyers.
The government offers support in areas such as land prices and policy while holding a share of the property rights, and buyers must pay a share of the price according to their share of the property rights. The buyers will enjoy the same rights in household registration and children's schooling as other home owners.
The policy has several restrictions, including that buyers and their families cannot already own homes, single people making purchases must be at least 30 years old, and a family can only apply for one home.
A total of 250,000 such homes will be provided in Beijing over the next five years. In Shanghai, 89,000 such homes had been provided by the end of last year.
The experiences of the two cities will be copied and expanded to other major cities, the notice said.
For a long time, soaring property prices have put city dwellers under pressure, making housing affordability a growing problem for policy makers, prompting measures to stabilize prices and curb speculation.