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Housing dream beyond reach of most workers

By Hoang Thuy, Viet Tuan   June 9, 2022 | 05:21 pm PT
Housing dream beyond reach of most workers
Houses and buildings are seen in District 2, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
More land funds should be dedicated to building apartments for workers amid surging real estate prices and a huge shortage of affordable housing, Minister of Construction Nguyen Thanh Nghi said.

The supply of affordable new apartments is not enough to cover the large demand, Nghi told the National Assembly in a recent Q&A session.

Last year, 172 such projects were completed, down 40 percent from 2020.

"339 social housing projects are being developed nationwide, but progress is very slow," the minister said.

More planning and development are needed in social housing across localities, including renovating old apartments and publicizing real estate data, he urged.

While the mid- and high-end segments seem to have an oversupply, there is a huge shortage of social housing and affordable apartments, he noted.

"Housing prices have been surging faster than income growth, which is why low-income workers have difficulties in accessing housing."

In response to a lawmaker’s question in the same session about arranging credit for people who have actual housing demand, State Bank Governor Nguyen Thi Hong said there are credit packages available with incentive loan interests to people with low incomes, but did not provide details on the rates and how accessible they are.

Some lawmakers have also expressed concerns that the government’s seemingly tightened credit policy in real estate has made it difficult for people to get housing loans, but Hong assured that is not the case.

The State Bank has only limited risky real estate loans via banks to ensure borrowers can repay their debts by the time the banks need the money for customer withdrawal, she said.

Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue said authorities are not limiting development of the real estate market but only dealing with its issues.

The real estate market still needs favorable conditions to develop further, he added.

 
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