China will allow the development of rental housing projects on rural land on a trial basis, authorities said Monday.
Rural collective economic organizations can build and rent housing on rural construction land by themselves or through joint ventures, according to the Ministry of Land and Resources and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
The program will be tested in 13 cities, including Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, with many projects envisaged by the end of 2021, before expansion elsewhere.
The move is an attempt to increase rental options and establish a housing system that is fair to both owners and tenants.
Rural and suburban land in China is owned collectively by farmers and managed by rural collective economic organizations or village committees.
Policy makers support development of the rental housing market to help stabilize home prices and curb speculation. Last month, the southern city of Guangzhou decided to give tenants and homeowners equal rights to local education resources.
Central authorities have said rental housing will be increased in 12 cities with net population inflows and government-backed home rental services will be set up in those cities.
Tenants of houses on rural land will enjoy basic public services.
Arable land should not be used for development, while farmers' wishes should be respected, the plan said.