Housing grants offered to incentivize more births

Wang Qingchu
A county in northwest China is to give one-off subsidy for house purchase to couples who have second and third children, among other support schemes.
Wang Qingchu

A county in northwest China's Gansu Province has become the first place in the country to provide home purchase subsidies to families who give birth to their second or third child.

The initiative is aimed at encouraging couples to have more children to counter China's aging population dilemma.

Linze County, with a population of over 150,000, will offer 40,000 yuan (US$6,216) in subsidy for permanent households who have a second or third child when they buy houses in the county area, and 30,000-yuan subsidy for those who opt to buy houses in townships and villages, Gansu Daily reported.

Linze's initiative sent a strong signal to the market and more similar measures might follow in other places, said Yan Yuejin, research director at E-house China R&D Institute, The Paper reported yesterday.

The county has been generous in giving out cash incentives.

It offers a one-time birth allowance of 2,000 yuan, 3,000 yuan and 5,000 yuan respectively for the first, second and third child. It gives another yearly child-rearing allowance of 5,000 yuan to local families with two children, and 10,000 yuan for those with three, payable until the children reach 3 years old.

It gives a yearly education grant of 1,000 yuan for the second child and 2,000 yuan for the third child while they study in public kindergartens.

China has adopted a policy that allows couples to have three children, together with a slew of supporting measures. The aim is to optimize the country's demographic structure and achieve long-term and balanced population development.

Beijing authorities said the city will give an extra 30 days of maternity leave to mothers who give birth to a third child after May 31. The fathers are entitled to an additional 15 days of paternity leave.

Earlier, Panzhihua in Sichuan Province said it would offer subsidies to families with more than one child.

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