China has embarked on a major initiative to renovate millions of aging homes. Photo: AFP

China is accelerating a national initiative to renovate aging urban residential communities to improve the living conditions of hundreds of millions of people, China Daily reports.

Vice-Minister of Housing and Rural-Urban Development Huang Yan said on Monday that as of the end of May, local governments had reported 170,000 urban communities in need of renovation, covering about 100 million residents.

Huang said many of the communities were built decades ago and several facilities are aging and crumbling.

In March, Premier Li Keqiang said in the Government Work Report that authorities would support the renovation of old urban residential communities across the country this year.

On June 19, Li presided over an executive meeting of the State Council which called for speeding up the work. Renovations would prioritize upgrading roads, water supplies, electricity, gas and internet services.

In communities where conditions permit, elevators will be installed and parking lots built, according to a release from the meeting.

Huang said such an initiative is also beneficial to the country’s economic growth.

“Our pilot programs in some cities proved that the renovation of old urban residential communities has not only helped improve people’s livelihoods and increased their sense of happiness and security, but also served as an important measure to expand investment and stimulate domestic demand,” she said at the news conference organized by the State Council Information Office.

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