A RESIDENTIAL project was launched in Futian District on Friday to provide rental apartments at below-the-market price to lawyers who are under 35 years old and working in the district, the Nanfang Daily reported.
Named "Shenzhen 1983," the project was initiated by the Futian District Judicial Bureau and the working committee of the city's lawyers association to care for young lawyers working in the district.
The first batch of 31 apartments has already been booked. Unmarried lawyers under 35 and with professional licenses will be given priority in applying for the apartments.
The "Shenzhen 1983" apartments are located in the Jingtian area with convenient public transport and other public facilities. According to Ma Xiaoge, head of the district judicial bureau, the name of the project was drawn from the collective wisdom of the public. China's first law firm was set up in Shenzhen in 1983.
Ma said that there are four sizes of apartments available. The monthly rent is between 2,000 and 4,500 yuan (US$312 and US$701).
A 24-hour housekeeping service is provided at the "Shenzhen 1983" apartments, and each apartment has an independent bathroom and a bed, a sofa, a desk, a wardrobe and other furniture as well as basic home appliances like a washing machine, an air conditioner and a refrigerator.
The residential project also provides public spaces like a library, meeting rooms and a lounge where tenants can socialize.
Statistics show that there are currently over 12,000 licensed lawyers working in Shenzhen and 64 percent of them are based in Futian District. For many young lawyers, the expensive rent is the biggest obstacle to settling in the city.
The judicial bureau in Futian District previously did an online survey and found that the housing problem is the main factor that restricts the development of young lawyers.
Gao Weifeng, one of the first tenants at "Shenzhen 1983," has been working as a lawyer for six years with an annual after-tax income of around 200,000 yuan (US$31,222).
For Gao, buying an apartment in Futian District is not an option at the moment as the average price is around 70,000 yuan per square meter in Futian District.
"It would cost me at least 4,500 yuan per month to rent a studio like this in this neighborhood according to the market price, but now I pay only 4,000 yuan for rent at 'Shenzhen 1983,'" said Gao.
What attracts the young lawyer the most is the public space provided at "Shenzhen 1983." "We can learn from each other while communicating in the public space," said Gao.
Ma Ke, a manager responsible for the project's operation, said that they will launch 300 to 500 apartments in three batches before the middle of next year. "Over 800 people applied for the apartments in less than two weeks," he said.