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City Spearheads Sublet Program to Boost Rental Housing Market
On November 14, Mayor Ko Wen-je presided over the launch press event of the 2017 Social Housing Sublet Program. The initiative is aimed at making the most use of the City’s vacant housing units while benefitting both property owners and would-be tenants.The program, to be officially inaugurated January 1 of 2018, has been accepting applications since October 31.According to Ko, despite the City’s ongoing effort to expand public housing by 12,000 units during his tenure, it is equally important to address the issue of vacant housing units. He cited statistics indicating that as many as 35,000 homes have not been put to use for a whole year. The issue can be partly attributed to landlords’ unwillingness to make the empty units available for rent due to the hassle involved in leasing properties, the mayor reckoned. In light of this, the Program seeks to encourage release of unused housing units into the housing market through a sublet scheme entrusted to four rental service providers selected in a tender. The service providers will take charge of housing management as well as tenant matchmaking. Deputy Mayor Teng Chia-ji pointed out that the institutionalized system seeks to make Taipei’s rental housing market sounder while reducing landlord-tenant disputes. Adding more details about the initiative, Urban Development Commissioner Lin Jou-min noted that landlords participating in the Program will be eligible for tax reductions, with housing tax reduced from 1.5 to 1.2 percent and land value tax from 10 percent to 2 percent.