Supporters Network for Community Development "Machizukuri"
back aboveindex trinext

1. Master Plan for Housing

 The Master Plan for Housing Reconstruction in Kobe, the city hardest hit by the earthquake, was created from the Emergency Three-Year Plan for Housing Reconstruction (hereafter the Three-Year Housing Reconstruction Plan) and the Kobe Housing Restoration Plan (hereafter the Housing Restoration Plan). A draft of the Three-Year Housing Reconstruction Plan was announced just two months after the earthquake on March 17, 1995, and it was enacted as policy on July 7, 1995. The Housing Restoration Plan, enacted a year and a half after the quake in July 1996 as a partial revision to the Three-Year Housing Reconstruction Plan, addressed issues of temporary housing residents and the need for public housing. Outlines of these plans follow.

The Three-Year Housing Reconstruction Plan

 Regarding the responsibilities of the mayor, Article 4 of the Emergency Earthquake Reconstruction Ordinance states: "The mayor is responsible for the prompt drafting of plans for the reconstruction of housing and downtown areas and for announcing these to the city residents and businesses, while also promoting earthquake reconstruction activities and generating policies needed to execute such activities". The Three-Year Housing Reconstruction Plan is a "plan for the reconstruction of housing" as required by this ordinance, and it is also coordinated with the prefecture housing plan.
 The basic emergency policy for recovery rests on five key points in the Ordinance.
 Table 1 shows the number of planned housing units by type of housing. An estimated 82,000 housing units were lost due to quake and fire damage from the earthquake. Since approximately 10,000 units were either under construction or unoccupied at the time of the quake, it is estimated that about 72,000 units must be constructed within three years. Of these, 29,000 will be for private ownership, while 43,000 will be rental units. An additional 10,000 units of public housing will be provided, 7,500 of which will be municipal housing units to be constructed at a rate of 2,500 units per year. This rate is four times the normal pre-quake construction pace of 600 units/year.
 Several policies had to be drafted to implement this plan. These introduced programs for clearing the areas where many buildings either collapsed or were destroyed by fire and promoted housing construction and living environment improvements needed for community redevelopment. To provide a large quantity of public housing units in a short period of time, a lease/purchase system for privately owned buildings was introduced. The Housing and Urban Development Corporation, the largest housing supplier in Japan, was expected to play a large role in providing large quantities of semi-public housing units in the earthquake stricken areas as well as in acting as the construction agent for municipal public housing units.
Various aid measures were also devised for helping city residents rebuild their own housing. The Kobe Housing and Urbanization Personnel Center, the Kobe Housing Exhibition, and the Kobe Housing and Urbanization Fund greatly contributed to housing reconstruction after the earthquake.

The Kobe Housing Restoration Plan

 While housing reconstruction was in progress under the Three-Year Housing Reconstruction Plan, surveys were taken among temporary housing residents that revealed the specific needs and desires of earthquake victims regarding their housing situations. The reconstruction of low-cost rental housing by the private sector was lagging, and emergency measures to expand the number of low-cost rental units provided by the public sector and to enact rent reductions were being retracted. The Housing Restoration Plan was announced in July 1996 to meet the needs that had arisen a year and a half after the earthquake. The plan incorporated three main purposes:
Table-1 Planned housing units of Three-Year Plan for Housing Reconstruction -> Housing units corrected by Housing Restoration Plan
Table-2 Provided plan of "low-cost rental housing" such as public housing
 Surveys among temporary housing residents conducted from February to March 1996 showed that these earthquake victim were in especially dire straits. Of these households, 68% were hoping to obtain public rental housing, 42% included a head of household over the age of 65, and 70% were low-income households with an annual income of less than 3 million yen. Due to these results, the number of public housing units needed was raised from 10,000 to 16,000. The additional 6,000 units could not be newly constructed due to difficulties in acquiring land and because of the urgent need for housing, but were added in the form of semi-public and private rental units. Revisions to the plan increased the number of available "low-cost rental housing" units, such as public housing, to 26,100 units (see Table 2), thus meeting the existing demand for such units.

Creation of a rent subsidy system

Table-3 Earthquake disaster general reductions system" newly constructed housing units"
Table-4 Earthquake disaster special reduction system "newly constructed housing units"
 Rents were lowered due to a national subsidy allotted to cover 75% of the construction costs for Disaster Restoration Public Housing, but they could be reduced even further depending on the individual circumstances (unemployment, elderly, etc.) of earthquake victims. Table 3 shows the rents on newly constructed housing units under the general reduction system. The lowest income category was further divided into five levels, and a special reduction system was applied to people falling into the lowest four of these five. Table 4 shows the rents on newly constructed housing units after the special reduction was applied. The maximum reduction rate was 70%, making it possible to move into a 40m2 public housing unit for only 6,600 yen per month. The initial rent reduction period is set at five years.
 A rent subsidy system has also been implemented for victims who have moved into private rental housing. The maximum rent subsidy is 50% of the rent or 30,000 yen until 1999, but the period of eligibility and the reduction (subsidy) will decrease annually until it reaches only 1/6 of the rent or 10,000 yen.
back aboveindex trinext

Mail toSupporters Network for Community Development "Machizukuri"

(C) by Supporters Network for Community Development "Machizukuri"

Supporters Network for Community Development "Machizukuri"(Japanese Only)
Gakugei syuppansya HP(Japanese Only)