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China increases rental housing to tackle cheap labor shortage

Policy change provides workers from rural areas with more low-cost options

This residential tower in Shenzhen offers public rental units. The number of affordable flats has been in decline as a result of urban redevelopment. (Photo by Yusuke Hinata)

GUANGZHOU -- China will increase the supply of low-cost rental housing to balance the residential housing market, which favors home sales.

The central government is afraid the scarcity of affordable rentals will cause a shortage of cheap labor. Although the popularity of homeownership has propped up the housing market, the widening gap between rich and the poor exposes harsher realities on the ground.

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