Government to provide support for social housing: Tsai

Taipei-President Tsai Ing-wen pledged Friday that her administration will provide concrete support to local governments to promote social housing developments across Taiwan.

Support such as financial assistance and the freeing up of state-owned plots of land for new social housing projects will be offered to local governments, Tsai said while touring a new social housing complex in Taipei with the city’s mayor, Ko Wen-je.

To help local governments create social housing units, a social housing financing platform has already been established by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) to help local governments obtain long-term, low-interest financing, she said.

As for new housing locations, Tsai said the Finance Ministry, the (MOI) and the Defense Ministry will make 350 hectares of government land available for city and county governments for social housing projects.

The government also plans to sublease idle units from private owners by putting them on the rental market to help alleviate housing issues for those who cannot afford a home, the president said.

Social housing projects will be prioritized in the country’s three most densely populated cities — Taipei, New Taipei and Taoyuan — she said.

“The social housing issue has been one of my campaign pledges, and therefore I will personally oversee the project in progress,” she said.

Responding to an earlier question from the Taipei mayor on what Tsai meant by “Taiwanese values,” Tsai told Ko that safeguarding young people’s right to housing should be considered as a Taiwanese value.

The question originated earlier this week when the president was asked by a local media about whether the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) views Ko as an ally, during which she responded that the mayor should first reaffirm his commitment to “Taiwanese values.”

Asked to elaborate on her answer Friday, Tsai sidestepped the question, saying she was not there to talk about politics but rather to tackle the issue of Taiwan’s social housing.

Source: Overseas Community Affairs Council