The current prevalence of social rented housing, or gongzufang, varies city by city in China. Most cities’ program has targeted low- to moderate-income urban residents and has excluded low-income rural migrants who do not possess local hukou, the permanent residence certificate, from accessing social rented housing. This thesis analyses Chongqing’s migrant-inclusion policy of social rented housing program, which has made migrants eligible to apply for housing dwellings, and its gap between policy justifications and empirical evidence. Although the migrant-inclusion policy has been justified by achieving rural-urban equality, it has been strategically used by the municipal government as a tool for promoting industrial growth.
By deploying hedonic regression models, the study explores the housing preferences of low-income households from the rental market and then estimates the “market value” of each of the twenty-one social rented housing communities. Next, the study identifies two types of social rented housing communities in terms of their shaping forces: The ideology of equality usually results in a community of higher “market value”, while the ideology of productivism leads to a community of lower “market value”. The study maps out which justification has been the dominant force shaping each of the twenty-one social housing communities in Chongqing. While the two justifications of equality and productivism complete each other in the municipal government’s decision-making of social rented housing, the thesis argues that both two types of communities still form underlying conditions that exclude rural migrants and create inequity issues.