China will exceed its 2011-2015 target for construction of affordable houses thanks to the government's continued effort to improve people's living conditions, said the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development on Friday.
A total of 39.7 million affordable housing units will begin construction by the end of 2015, topping the 36 million target set for the 2011-2015 period, said Liu Xia, a senior official of the ministry.
China began construction on 32.3 million affordable housing units from 2011 to 2014, Liu added.
In May, the Ministry of Finance announced the central government allocated 124.3 billion yuan (20.2 billion U.S. dollars) in 2015 to fund the affordable housing program to improve people's livelihood and spur economic growth.
The money will be used as rent subsidies for low-income families, to fund public rental housing and renovation of shanty towns, said the ministry.
The affordable housing program, which was approved in 1999, is designed to provide cheaper housing to low-income families who cannot afford to buy a home in cities, where real estate prices skyrocketed over the past years.
In the past four years, more than 20 million affordable houses were completed across the country, with 12 million under construction. The assistance fund for building the houses has reached 710 billion yuan, according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-rural Development.