CHINA : 'Life is extremely difficult' : high rents in China's big cities a challenge for migrant workers.

ZHANG Jing, 30 moved from Jiangxi province in Shanghai eight years ago, with the dream of making it big in mainland China's commercial and business capital.
But now he says it is just a pipe dream.

And he has ground for resentment - the high cost of living in Shanghai. The property sales agent pays 4,000 yuan [US$580] a month in rent for a 30 square meter apartment in Tangqiao, in the city's Pudong district.

Rent accounts for half his monthly pay.

''Landlords whether owning commercial or residential properties, have been the top beneficiaries of the city's economic boom,'' he says. ''The rents just keep climbing and increase our living costs.''

Shanghai has a population of about 10 million residents who have come from others parts of China to live and work. Most do not have a local hukou, or household registration, and cannot buy homes in the city amid austerity measures aimed at reining in property prices.

The demand for rental homes is expected to hit 4 million units, and Shanghai municipal government plans to build thousands of homes for renting. These are earmarked for low income residents, start-up entrepreneurs and professionals working in the technology sector.

The city also plans to allocate more land for rental homes.[Courtesy South China Morning Star].

The Honor and Serving of the latest Global Operational Research on Cities and cost of living, continues.


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