Housing Safety-net Expansion in the Era of New-type Urbanisation: Case Studies from Shandong

Dr Lei Yu

The Center for Contemporary Chinese Studies, Asia Institute, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

This paper investigates the recent evolution of China’s affordable housing policy and its effect on improving people’s housing welfare, in the context of the country’s new-type urbanisation strategy. Since 2007, alongside the gradual housing safety net expansion, there has been a massive boom in public housing construction sweeping through urban areas. The aim is to address housing affordability challenges for an increasingly diversified needy population, in alignment with the transition towards a more people-oriented urban social and economic structure. Focusing on the policy practices at the municipal level, and case studies from Shandong Province in particular, the paper brings both the vertical central-local and horizontal cross-program inter-institutional interactions in the policy process under scrutiny, as well as the resulting distributional and equity outcomes of the policy across localities. Through comparative analysis, the findings shed light on the mechanisms of how city governments manipulate the policy process to best complement their existing local resources and growth agenda, despite an overarching commitment to advancing access, inclusion and diversity of public housing in the era of new-type urbanisation.


Lei Yu is a research fellow at the CCCS of Asia Institute, University of Melbourne. Her research interests include social policy, central-local relations, public finance and governance of contemporary China. Currently, she is conducting research, funded by the Ford Foundation, analysing China’s urbanisation transition and social policy development.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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