​Developers call for policy changes to ease social housing problems

By Quang Tue   August 2, 2022 | 03:00 am PT
​Developers call for policy changes to ease social housing problems
A social housing complex in the southern province of Binh Duong. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Leading property developers have called on the government to fast-track approvals and ease restrictions that are stymieing the industry’s growth.

The approval process is taking at least 600 days and that should be cut to 90-120 days, Vinhomes chairman Pham Thieu Hoa said at a conference on social housing development chaired by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on Monday.

Developers who build social housing on their own land should be allowed to hire contractors without calling for bids to speed things up, Hoa said.

Developers should also be involved in the 1:500 planning process for housing projects for the same reason, he added.

The property giant wants to build 500,000 social housing units in the next five years.

Dang Minh Truong, chairman of conglomerate Sun Group, said businesses should be able to buy social housing to rent out or resell to their low-income employees.

These houses are sold at below market prices, and currently only disadvantaged people, including workers, and certain government employees can buy them.

Truong also called for scrapping a regulation that developers have to set aside 20 percent of land at their commercial projects for social housing if local demand has been met.

Duong Cong Minh, principal shareholder of property developer Him Lam, said the 20 percent rate makes social housing "fragmented" and recommended instead consolidating it at a few places.

He also alluded to the complications involved in converting commercial housing projects into social housing, with his firm taking five years in one instance to complete legal procedures.

"Converting commercial projects into social housing is even more complicated than getting approval for new commercial projects."

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