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Title: Private governanace of housing in China : institution and practice
Other Titles: Zhongguo si you zhu zhai de guan li : zhi du he shi shi
中國私有住宅的管理 : 制度和實施
Authors: Chen, Limei (陳麗梅)
Department: Department of Public and Social Administration
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: City University of Hong Kong
Subjects: Real estate management -- China.
Housing management -- China.
Homeowners' associations -- China.
Notes: CityU Call Number: HD1394.5.C6 C45 2009
viii, 236 leaves 30 cm.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--City University of Hong Kong, 2009.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 207-236)
Type: thesis
Abstract: This study seeks to explain the institutional design and implementation of private housing governance in China. It firstly traces the course of the evolution of condominium institution in China and concludes that it, in the policy level, results from the privatization of the provision of public goods and services related to housing. This study finds that the condominium institution in China has two distinct features compared with its counterparts in other countries and regions: non-mandatory formation of homeowners' association (HOA) and the involvement of state. This thesis then analyzes the conditions of the private housing in Chinese cities and identifies two key problems of overuses and inadequate investment on maintenance due to the absence of private governance of homeowners in many communities. Club good theory, which is widely accepted to rationalize the existence of the private governance institution, is pointed out to fail to explain the case of China. This research argues that the private communities in Chinese cities are ubiquitously subject to the dilemmas of commons. The establishment of private governance by homeowners in communities is community solution to the commons problems. The study examines the practice of the establishment and activities of owners' committees in Shanghai and Shenzhen and reaches three essential conclusions. First, the implementation of condominium institution in communities depends on the devotion of some owner activists, which echoes critical mass theory of collective action. The critical homeowners are made up of leaders and 'bridge group'. The leaders usually stand up under either of two catalytic conditions: the direct encroachment of developer and/or property management company and the persuasion of grassroots state agency. The 'bridge group' plays important role to mobilize the silent homeowners. Second, the knowledge and skills of the leaders determine whether the community can achieve legitimacy, autonomy or support from the state so as to exercise private governance. Third, the residents' committees are delegated by the state to control the owners' committees. However, the power of the residents' committees varies with the characteristics of the communities due to its informal power strategy. The variation of the strength of grassroots agency of state, by and large, accounts for the different numbers and different powers of the owners' committees amidst cities in China. This research makes original contribution to theoretically interpret the implementation of condominium institution in communities in China and explains the empirical phenomenon of the variation of the coverage and extent of private governance of homeowners within China.
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