Workers at Foxconn recently expressed their worries about possible rent hikes due to a renovation plan for urban villages in Qinghu by real-estate giant Vanke in an article online.
Vanke has launched the “Wancun Plan,” which literally means “10,000 villages plan,” aiming to upgrade apartments in the urban villages before renting them out, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported yesterday.
This article, titled “Words from 130,000 Foxconn workers to Vanke, landlords and the supervision department,” says the “Wancun Plan” has broken their original lease contracts in Qinghu and the workers’ rights need to be protected.
The workers have listed out 10 items needed to preserve their rights, such as limiting the amount landlords may raise rents and a three-month buffer period for the tenants to move out.
The workers also argued that the original tenants ought to be given priority in renting the apartments after the reconstruction and preferential prices should be offered to them as well.
The “Wancun Plan” was put forwarded by Wancun Development Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Vanke, to rent residential buildings from landlords on a long-term basis and lease them to residents after renovating the homes, which may lead to rises in rents.
A resident in Qinghu surnamed Li said he hadn’t heard from his landlord about whether the apartment he is renting would now be renovated, which left him quite anxious. “I believe that the landlord won’t raise the rent right away due to the contract, but I am not sure if my rent will be raised later,” Li told journalists, adding that he would leave Qinghu if that were to happen.
According to the report, apartments in Qinghu are still adequate and rents remain unchanged.
In contrast to Qinghu, housing resources in Jingle urban village are in short supply. Cai Xuejin, general manager of Wancun Development Co. Ltd., said that the reconstruction of the urban villages won’t change the supply-demand structure of the original leasing market. He thinks that the anticipated rise in rent is just a psychological reaction from residents. However, journalists found some cases of rising rents for renovated apartments did exist.
Vanke responded that they would maintain the rent of the reconstructed apartments and provide safer and more livable living conditions for the residents.
Chen Aipin, a government official, said the government ought to increase investment in public rental housing and improve measures to regulate the behavior of real estate companies.