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KMT's Hou lays out housing policy, with measures modeled after Singapore

10/27/2023 10:10 PM
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Kuomintang presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih lays out his housing policy at a press conference on Friday. CNA photo Oct. 27, 2023
Kuomintang presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih lays out his housing policy at a press conference on Friday. CNA photo Oct. 27, 2023

Taipei, Oct. 27 (CNA) Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) on Friday laid out his housing policy, which includes supporting newly married couples in the purchase of a home, a policy modeled after Singapore.

Speaking at a press conference, Hou said his policy includes the diversification of public housing units and homes for families with children, curbing real estate speculation, and carrying out urban redevelopment.

As part of the public housing diversification, Hou vowed that if elected, he would introduce a "housing justice" program which will supply a total of 1.2 million social housing units, while incentivizing the private sector into investing in this area, so that a certain proportion of new development zones can be designated for affordable housing use.

He also spoke about supporting newly married couples, excluding high-income families, in purchasing an apartment built on state-owned land, a measure that is modeled after Singapore.

Such apartments would include a 70-year ownership, and would be sold at a 30 percent discount off market price, the KMT presidential candidate said, indicating that if a couple later decides to sell it within this timeframe, the government could take it back at the original sale price.

Meanwhile, he also proposed giving priority to families with two or more children to rent a social housing unit or purchase a home that is built on state-owned land, with the latter enjoying another 20 percent discount.

For families with three or more children, a one-time subsidy of NT$1 million (US$31,841) would be available to be used for purchasing or renting a home.

Hou also proposed setting up a Cabinet-level committee to combat real estate speculation, and said that the real property transfer tax in Taiwan should be re-examined.

Tai Wei-shan (戴瑋姍), who is campaign spokesperson for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) presidential candidate Lai Ching-te (賴清德), on Friday accused Hou for copying Lai's housing policy, which has already been presented to the public.

In a news release, Tai said Hou mentioned the 1.2 million social housing units, but failed to elaborate on what that would entail, alleging that the latter was only using the figure to deceive the public.

She said that during his time as New Taipei mayor, Hou did pretty much nothing over the past two years to improve the social housing situation in the city.

In response, Hou's office issued a statement countering the attack and accusing Lai's campaign office of using false rumors to discredit New Taipei's efforts led by Hou to provide social housing.

It pointed out that New Taipei has made progress in meeting its goal of providing more than 11,000 units of affordable housing, with 3,200 units soon to accept tenders for construction. It said Hou's policy of giving low interest rate loans to young people and preferential treatment to couples with children applying for social housing are new measures.

(By Liu Kuan-ting, Wen Kuei-hsiang and Ko Lin)

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