BEIJING, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- A total of 219.8 billion yuan (35.72 billion U.S. dollars) from central finances was earmarked for affordable housing projects in the first half of 2014, latest official data showed.
Of the total subsidies, 196.8 billion yuan will be granted for urban affordable housing projects and 23 billion yuan to those in rural areas, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said in an online statement late Friday.
During the same period, actual spending on affordable housing projects stood at 152.1 billion yuan, surging 36.6 percent year on year.
The Chinese government has stepped up construction of affordable housing as part of its efforts to stabilize the property sector and to guarantee people's quality of life.
The government has set a target to complete 4.8 million affordable housing units in 2014. By the end of July, 3.4 million units had been completed, or 70 percent of the annual target, said the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development on Friday.
Shantytown renovations have repeatedly been stressed this year as a key move to promote urbanization and are considered a "mini-stimulus" to help boost regional growth.
In the January-June period, central finances spent 41.96 billion yuan on shantytown renovation projects, 148 percent more than the same period last year, Friday's MOF data also showed.
A State Council circular in early August said the government will support state-owned companies to raise funds for shantytown renovations through issuing bonds.