Xinjiang housing construction nears completion despite outbreak delays

Around 80 percent of this year's construction projects have been completed for new houses in rural areas of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Tianshannet reported on Thursday.

According to the region's department of housing and urban-rural development, new houses for 62,000 out of 75,000 households had been completed, with the completion rate at 83.8 percent as of July 9.

The project, designed to build new houses and renovate dilapidated houses for all households in rural areas across the region, began in 2017. In 2019, over 210,000 new houses were built in rural areas, and the region expected to complete the project by the end of this year.

Mutalip Abduwali, a farmer from Kelpen village in southern Xinjiang's Aksu prefecture, moved to a new house with modern amenities such as marble floors, sofas and toilets in May.

"The new house seems to have everything. We are now living in comfort and it feels like my family has moved to the city," Mutalip said.

The department said at present the region has achieved full housing coverage in the prefectures of Aksu, Kashagar and Hotan, as well as the Kezilesu Kirgiz, Bayingol Mongolian, and Changji Hui autonomous prefectures.

Zhang Shaoai, an official at the village and town development office of the department, said the project was suspended in February because of the outbreak of COVID-19, and since restarting in March, progress of construction has accelerated significantly.

"We have invited experts on housing construction to participate in the project, and they are helping to improve local building capabilities. Therefore, the project is completing as scheduled," Zhang said.