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Local gov'ts may build low-cost housing: MOI

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Despite the fact that the central government does not have a budget for affordable housing construction, local governments may construct that type of housing for its residents by build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects or by raising the construction budget, Interior Deputy Minister Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭家淇) said yesterday.

The Ministry of the Interior pointed out that the government's residential policies are based on “multi-residential assistance,” which is divided into two types. The government will provide rent subsidies for low-income families without their own housing and also assist those families in searching for appropriate rentals, while semi-low-income families will be provided with affordable housing and subsidies for paying housing loan interest.

In order to implement a residential policy of “the dwellers living in housing that fits them,” the MOI will be continuing to promote a variety of housing subsidies; subsidies for 25,000 families' application for rent, 5,000 families' housing loans and 3,000 families' housing repair bills will be approved in 2014, said the MOI.

The 4,455 living quarters slated to be built in Banqiao and 4,463 near the Taoyuan International Airport MRT line are to be finished and sold to residents by 2015, said the MOI.

The MOI said that despite public criticism of the affordable housing project, housing issues have been ruled as being the responsibility of local governments, which should consider the option of building affordable housing when the local need for living quarters becomes greater than the area can supply.

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