level 2

北京市将从2011年1月1日起,集中处理人防工程地下室[1]的居住人口,清除居住在地下室里的住客。 由于租金过快上涨,北京今年约有20万人被迫合租、群租。但新出的《商品房屋租赁管理办法》[2]被媒体解读为禁止集体租房。北京市又打算明年开始用一年的时间清除居住在城市地下室里的住客。这将进一步减少外地人[3]在北京的生活空间。



From January 1st, Beijing city will focus on dealing with the population who resides in the basements or air-defense works and remove the tenants who stay there. Since rent rises fast, this year there are around 200,000 people in Beijing who are forced to live together. However, the new emitted "measure for managing rent of commercial housing" is understood by the media as prohibition of collective rental of houses. Beijing city plans to use a time span of one year, next year, to remove the tenants who live in the city's basements. This is a step forward in the reduction of the living space of outsiders in Beijing.

According to statistics, Beijing city proper and surrounding outskirts have altogether 2400000 apartments for rent, while rent is demanded by 7000000 people. The absolute majority of these people are workers who arrive to Beijing from outer areas. According to media reports, there are about 1000000 people in Beijing who reside in basements.

These new regulations in apartment rentals has a positive intention, regarding the reduction of security threats, standardizing the city's conditions by reducing the number of outer workers in Beijing, though it also leads to another crazy rise in the price of low rent apartments in the city. Data shows that between January and November this year, the rent of ordinary residences in Beijing was an average of 3179RMB, rising by 23% during that period. Some people claim that Beijing is one hand eliminating the inner city villages, but on the other hand is sternly prohibiting the rental of divided apartment and of basements. This changes the rental rights of the public.

[1] 人防工程地下室 rén fáng gōngchéng dìxiàshì - Civil air defense basements, referring to basements which originally served as protection facilities for soldiers, common people and equipment in war time.

[2] 《商品房屋租赁管理办法》shāngpǐn fángwū zū lìn guǎnlǐ bànfǎ -  "Measure for managing rent in commercial housing" A policy about to be implemented in February 2011, strengthening the supervision on lease of commercial housing.

[3] 外地人 wàidì rén - Foreigners, outsiders, referring to workers from outside Beijing (usually from the city outskirts and surrounding provinces) who migrate to the city looking for work.

[4] 城中村 chéng zhōng cūn - 'Inner city villages', residential areas, often in city suburbs, where communal housing are common. 'City villages' are normally resided by outsiders, who come to the city looking for low-paying jobs, and supply low quality living conditions.