Financing Low-Cost Rental Housing in the People's Republic of China

Publication | December 2012

The People's Republic of China (PRC) largely appears to have avoided crowded slums synonymous with urban decay and poverty in inner-city areas of other developing countries. While slums do exist in the PRC, the percent living in slums has fallen from around 44% of the urban population in 1999 to 29% in 2009. Yet, due to the sheer size of the population and urban population growth, the number of people living in urban slums has actually increased from nearly 132 million in 1999 to over 180 million by 2009.

This policy note summarizes current government housing policies, status of low-cost rental housing, and key lessons from international experience. The note also identifies options for financing low-cost rental housing and makes corresponding policy recommendations.