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Construction started on 2.86 mln affordable homes


BEIJING, June 4 (Xinhua) -- China's affordable housing program is progressing smoothly as construction has begun on 2.86 million affordable housing units this year, latest data has showed.

The number accounts for around 40 percent of the 7 million units planned for the whole year, Feng Jun, chief economic manager of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, disclosed on Wednesday.

As of the end of April, construction had been nearly completed on 1.25 million units, and a total of 360 billion yuan (58 billion U.S. dollars) had been injected into the program for the January-April period.

Approved in 1999, the program is designed to provide cheaper housing to low-income families who have been edged out by runaway real estate prices.

The government work report released earlier this year set a target to begin construction on more than 7 million units, including 4.7 million for people living in shanty shelters.

Feng said the central government plans to allocate 198 billion yuan to subsidize the program this year.