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Implementation and improvisation of policies by the lowest level of the state

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Implementation and improvisation of policies by the lowest level of the state

  1. 1. Chongqing in comparison with the other cities Fieldwork completed this year in 5 juweihui territories May 28, 2014 Stephan Feuchtwang Luo Pan Zhang Hui
  2. 2. 228 May 2014l Chongqing l WP2 The implementation of policy In this report I will focus on the lowest levels of state and how they work with other institutions to implement and improvise policy
  3. 3. 328 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 Thomas Heberer and Christian Goebel’s previous study • In their studies of juweihui (Residents’ committees – RCs) and other low-level city government agencies in 2 Chongqing RCs and others in 2 other cities (Shenzhen and Shenyang) concluded RC staff overloaded and unsuccessful in achieving participation of most residents • 10 years later the same, but no legitimation crisis as predicted by them
  4. 4. 428 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 Special developments in Chongqing in the last 10 years • Urbanising villagers, integrating ex-farmers, providing affordable housing to the relatively poor • Land requisitioning and house-land ticketing auctions • Public rental housing projects
  5. 5. 528 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 • DY is a newly formed urban shequ (community) added to what was a thriving township market and industrial town integrated into northern CQ. It was studied by ZH for the work programme. The land expropriated to construct DY was requisitioned in 2008 and the two 6-storey blocks where most of the resettled farmers live were fully occupied in 2011. • Much of the village land is still farmland, even though the first land requisition from it was in the late 1980s. The village is composed of two natural villages, consisting of ten production teams and in 2013 had over 2,900 agricultural hukou remaining, a further 400 of which were about to be transformed to urban hukou. A partly integrated village
  6. 6. 628 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 • if a certain percentage of a household’s agricultural land is being taken, it must shift its hukou; if the whole production team’s land is taken, then the whole team needs to shift their household registration • 80% of the compensation for agricultural land has to be spent on an urban social insurance scheme, part of which is to be paid by employers. The remaining 20% goes back to the village collective, usually in fact divided into payments per person in the production team. • a standard fee per person is paid for resettlement costs, a portion of which depending on age goes toward a pension scheme. If transitional housing is needed government pays in addition a standard amount per person per month. Land requisition official 1
  7. 7. 728 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 • house land (zhaijidi) is first requisitioned from the village along with agricultural land and only then, through the village, is it offered in auction to property developers through the local Tudi Jiaoyu Suo (Land Exchange Office) whose maps show the balance between agricultural land and land under urban construction. The urbanised household is actually paid a standardised amount for the house land, through the village committee, after the auction. • regulations were never detailed enough to deal with particulars, such as the quality of the materials of a requisitioned house or the actual as distinct from the registered composition of a household. Central directives cannot be met, despite the announcements that say everyone is to be treated equally and soon. • sympathetic to the resettled farmers and try to get them the best deal; in addition, they are concerned that for lack of job training and therefore jobs the employer/employee insurance scheme the farmers have to join will not be of much use. Land requisition official 2
  8. 8. 828 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 Nick Smith’s (2014)research in Hualing village • As the requisition official found, villagers are not willing to urbanise. They prefer their own risks of failure and low income to the greater risks of arbitrary decisions and inadequate compensation under multiple city agencies • Prefer their own connections for borrowing to build or set up small businesses, retaining some agricultural land and their own urbanisation, including urban employment in diversified household economies
  9. 9. 928 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 • DH had completed transformation from village to city xiaoqu in Jan 2014, when LP studied it. But land requisitioning, which started many years earlier was continuing there too, administered by the Street office, in the creation of a very mixed and highly differentiated complex of housing estates. Integrating villagers in DH
  10. 10. 1028 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 • Resettlement of villagers, displaced by the building of a highway, began in 1999. Compensation was not by size of original dwelling but by number of persons in the household, with extra space above that having to be paid for. The ex- villagers are still neighbours in their resettlement blocks but the blocks are high rises. DH ex-farmers
  11. 11. 1128 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 • To qualify for ECH, residents must not have an income above a set level and no other residence in CQ. They cannot resell within the first five years of residence, though they can in fact informally, only formally transferring registration after the requisite 5 years. The price per square metre had already risen from 2800 rmb to 3000 rmb in two years. • Some of the apartments were bought by villagers from nearby, at their own cost, because they already have jobs in the district and are looking forward to further income and wealth from the compensation of requisitioning their village and house land. Other residents are migrants from further away. Yet others rent flats in a rental tower block as a transition, waiting for their resettlement blocks to be built. The former villagers are no longer neighbours with fellow villagers, but usually know where those to whom they were close live and keep up contact with them. ECH housing
  12. 12. 1228 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 • The RC covers a very large population, of which ex-farmers are a minority, but its funding and number of staff are as small as for a much smaller area and population while its workload is huge. As the staff said: “The RC is a basket, anything can be thrown into it” (juweihui shi ge kuang, shenmo dou wangli zhuang). RC – the usual story
  13. 13. 1328 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 • The office of the committee of the village whose land has been requisitioned is only a few blocks away from the RC office in both DY and DH. The ex-farmers with urban household registration still go to it in preference to the RC for mediation and they are still allowed to take part in elections for the village committee. The VC has been responsible for their urban transfer and helps the illiterate among them to fill out the forms they must complete as urban registered residents, including those that need pension or other welfare payments. Continuing functions of the Village Committee
  14. 14. 1428 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 • As we have found in all four cities, in all the lowest offices of municipal government, the land requisition office, RC and its service centre, and the Property Management Company, staff are overworked, underpaid, and expected to use their own initiative. • they have some room to do so because the regulations are unrealistic or not detailed enough • They are blamed, while higher levels are made to look good by the promises they seem to offer by their announcements • they are said to be corrupt, which is a charge that can also be levelled higher up. • They have to be coercive, while often sympathising with the victims of coercion and regret their falling short of the ideals of what their job could and should be, serving the local residents. Improvisation in policy implementation
  15. 15. 1528 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 Chongqing’s main low-cost housing provision is to be publicly owned estates of tower blocks of apartments for rent; the rest is ECH. This initiative follows a series of regulations instructing cities to include migrant workers and not send them home, but only if they can show they have at least a six-month steady employment, among other qualifications Public rental housing (gongzufang)
  16. 16. 1628 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 The land on which the projects are built was already in municipal ‘storage’, accumulated in previous years, starting in 2003, by one of the 8 large municipal corporations. Accumulation will be continued in preparation for subsequent projects of public rental estates and possibly also for sale, which will be at a higher price than the original cost of requisition. Donation of the land is part of the city government’s financing of these projects. Construction and management are open to bidding by private companies, their architects, and property management companies. Public rental housing land
  17. 17. 1728 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 • The Interest on the loans is to be paid by the rents from residents and commercial outlets on site, while the capital loan will be paid by the funds created by residents who take the option after 5 years of residence to buy their apartments. But they may not then sell them in the open market. They have to sell them back to the city. Neither the purchase nor the sale-back prices had yet been announced at the time of our study. • payment back of the capital loan from banks is still an issue since it depends on how many residents will want to buy and how many of those will stay and not sell back. • There is also a questionof how the running and repair costs for the building fabric and the public spaces would be met. • Even the interest payments remain an issue after construction because they depend on full occupation and therefore that there will be the requisite number of qualified applicants for the apartments built. Public rental housing finances
  18. 18. 1828 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 • Rent is at 60% of the average market rate in the area. • open to all, from new college graduates to migrant workers, and there is special provision at 10% of market rent for those on welfare payments, including ex-prisoners and those receiving treatment for drug abuse. Public rental housing – tenants
  19. 19. 1928 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 • MX public rental housing project is the first of the over 20 planned projects in Chongqing. Public rental housing exists in every one of our four cities, but in none on this scale. • When ZH studied it in 2013, MX was the only one fully occupied, after starting construction in February 2010 and being completed in one year. Public rental housing – MX project
  20. 20. 2028 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 • composed of 6 gated zones of tower blocks, ranging between 20 and 33 storeys in height, fifty four blocks in all housing a population of about 45,000. The apartments range in size from studio to 3-bedroom, with full fixtures, utilities, and interior decoration, ready to be moved into, except for furniture. Selection from qualified applicants is by lottery and so is allocation, so that it can happen that an elderly or infirm resident is allotted an apartment in a high storey. • At present the whole estate is managed by one RC and service centre, with the prospect of two further RCs being created, by one PMC, by one rental office of the municipal centre for housing management, by one police station and by one office of the city management for commercial outlets to cut down on illegal stall holders. The Street office initiated the formation of a single Party branch combining the leadership of all these offices except that of the city management, to aid their coordination. Public rental housing – MX project
  21. 21. 2128 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 • The rental office encouraged the Youth League to start a Citizens’ Schools (Shimin Xiaoxue), by finding volunteers to run them. • Their activities include helping children left in the care of grandparents with their homework after school, visiting disabled and elderly, infirm, tenants, classes in singing and in English for the children of migrant worker tenants, cooking and other household skills, a hotline for psychological counselling, and lectures on health and on bank loans. • The local Party branch deals with complaints that come into the responsibility of the three offices and the police station. • Less successful community-building activity, by the rental office and the RC jointly, are monthly neighbourhood festivals, an initiative now copied in other public rental housing projects, to teach habits of lining up for buses, of maintaining hygiene and safety, dancing, painting and singing contests. These are mainly for show, photographed with the banners advertising the festival. Free drinks provided by a commercial company on one occasion were the main attraction, according to residents interviewed. MX’s community building efforts
  22. 22. 2228 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 • facilities, such as the clinic, play a large part in maintaining the attractiveness to applicants upon which the whole huge project depends. • yet the financing of those public facilities was not adequately included in the original plan, according to Professor Wang Lin (Chongda Dept of real estate management). • high ratio of infants to carers in the nursery schools and the quality of teaching in the primary school are causes for tenants’ complaints Another necessity for improvisation of policy
  23. 23. 2328 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 • The actual quality of materials of the tower blocks is good but construction has been somewhat compromised in its speed, we found from residents. This might deter tenants staying or even selling, so forcing them to stay • The rent and costs of staying are anyway beyond the means of those who lose their jobs. And if you don’t have access to internet or television to find the offers of tenancy you are already excluded Maintenance of fabric and public spaces a major deficit
  24. 24. 2428 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 • Community spirit is high because most of the housing is ex work-unit, partially renovated, and most residents are ex- work unit and already know their ex-work comrades well • Elections have exceptional turn-out; November 2014 it reached a 92% participation rate. As one activist resident commented: “The result of the election was obvious, but the staff are good at social work. They are quite nice, they are professional, and they all have a good mass base.” NH - A deceptive model RC
  25. 25. 2528 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 • The Street funds repairs, builds new public facilities and demands of RCs that they meet targets of participation • But RCs have to find their own funds, such as from parking fees, to meet some of these targets RC’s have to find ways to raise money
  26. 26. 2628 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 • To collect fees and to prevent the formation of a critical Property Owners’ Association, a PMC may resort to thugs, but except in the luxury estates, all PMCs lack the funds for the maintenance of spaces, buildings and security residents expect • Forced to raise funds beyond fees, eg commercial parking or the developer-built swimming pool lying stagnant and unused (but that proved impossible because it would have meant charging impossibly high commercial fees) PMCs are also stuck for funds
  27. 27. 2728 May 2014l Chongqing l WP5 • face projects show that policy is being implemented, behind which there are frustrations among implementers of not having adequate support, or villagers resisting urbanisation on the government’s terms but becoming urbanised on their own terms, and of volunteers who merge with self-organisers • the great majority of residents have no part in any of this policy making or implementing. • cannot lump all this together as ‘society’. • But neither does it justify the assumption by Heberer and Goebel that the consequence of persistent lack of participation must be a crisis of legitimation for the Party and its state. Conclusion
  28. 28. Stephan Feuchtwang Luo Pan www.urbachina.eu 28

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