Low rents used to target top talent

Downtown district governments are offering low-rent apartments to attract professionals to cap the city's ambition to become a scientific innovation center with global influence.
Ti Gong

A low-rent talent apartment on Sichuan Road N. offered by Hongkou District government.

Hongkou District plans to increase the number of low-rent apartments for skilled professionals as part of local efforts to lure talent.

These apartments will be located in public rental houses, hotels, renovated factory buildings and industrial parks. They will be established across the district, the Hongkou government announced over the weekend.

According to the district’s three-year plan on “talent apartment” construction and management, skilled workers from both China and abroad will be allowed to rent these apartments at below-average rates for at least six months. Housing subsidies totaling 8.78 million yuan (US$1.37 million) will also be offered.

The apartments are intended to serve mainly professionals in finance, shipping, business and scientific innovation, in accordance with the district’s development blueprint.

The first batch of apartments will be ready by the end of the year. They will include a number of residential apartments in the Rainbow Bay community, one of the largest communities in the district.

The government will also construct new apartment buildings as part of the scheme.

Citywide effort

The district’s plan will also see the transformation of some historic lane-style homes into high-end apartments for senior professionals at local enterprises.

Those interested in renting such apartments can do so by applying through the recommendation of their employers. Applicants are required to hold at least a bachelor’s degree. They must also not own property in Shanghai. Leases can last for up to three years, although extensions would be possible, the government said.

Other downtown district governments are also offering low-rent apartments to attract professionals and entrepreneurs. Such efforts come as Shanghai aims to become a globally-recognized center of scientific innovation.

The first batch of about 2,000 such low-rent apartments along the Huangpu River in Xuhui are ready to accommodate professionals — with the lowest rents set at 1,800 yuan.

Jing’an District has also established some 2,000 such apartments, and offered housing subsidies of up to 500,000 yuan. According to the district government, leases in such apartments are around 60 percent of market rates.

In Putuo District, over 300 skilled workers have moved into furnished talent apartments and received a total of 3 million yuan in subsidies.

The Pudong New Area government plans to build 9,000 international talent apartments at the Zhangjiang Hi-tech Park, which has been designated as a “science city” in the city government’s development blueprint.

The city government has pledged to offer “bespoke solutions” as it seeks to foster a conducive environment for innovation and entrepreneurship.

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