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President pledges to assist young people in affording housing

TAIPEI -- President Ma Ying-jeou pledged yesterday to step up efforts to bring about “housing justice” during the remaining two years of his term to let “young people afford to live in Taiwan.”

At a speech at China Medical University in Taichung to mark his sixth anniversary in office, Ma said the government has paid extra attention to housing over the past two years in light of mounting complaints from young people that exorbitant prices are holding them from getting married and owning a house.

The president touted the introduction of a real price registration system for real estate transactions, a move aimed at curbing speculation. So far, 856,000 transactions have been recorded and disclosed, and the database has been used 33.29 million times, he added.

The government has also provided a rental subsidy of up to NT$4,000 per month for students, first-time job seekers and disadvantaged people, with 33,000 recipients benefiting so far, he said.

The government has launched social housing projects for rent in the Greater Taipei area, as well, he said, noting that 7,000 units have been completed, and 3,800 more are expected in the next three years.

Another 10,000 “affordable housing units” are in the works in New Taipei, which Ma said will go for 30 percent less than their market value.

The government is also providing zero-interest or low-interest mortgage loans to help young couples buy their own homes, he said.

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