Construction ministry wants 1 million houses for workers, poor by 2030

By Viet Tuan   August 1, 2022 | 06:31 pm PT
Construction ministry wants 1 million houses for workers, poor by 2030
A row of apartments for factory workers in HCMC's Thu Duc City. Photo by VnExpress/Le Tuyet
Construction minister Nguyen Thanh Nghi on Monday called for building a million houses for industrial workers and people with low incomes by 2030.

At a conference on social housing, Nghi proposed that the Ministry of Construction would devise a plan and submit to the government for approval.

He asked provinces and cities to furnish relevant data this month to go ahead with the plan.

Several laws need to be amended to incorporate more specific policies on land banks for social housing, developers, government support mechanisms, and others, he said.

He pointed to other countries like South Korea, China and Singapore that backed construction of housing for rent through multiple methods.

In Vietnam, construction of social housing has faced hurdles in terms of investment and sales procedures, he said.

"Incentives for developing social housing are not been attractive or practical."

For instance, social housing projects must have at least 20 percent of their total area available for rent, and investors can only sell them after five years, but many social housing projects have no tenants, meaning developers could not recoup their investment, he said.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said most countries have social housing in forms like leasing.

"Workers cannot buy homes if they have just started to work. That is why there are options like leasing and hire purchase."

Vietnam has built 7.8 million square meters of social housing in the last few years, providing shelter to hundreds of thousands of workers' and low-income families, but they only partially meet demand, he said.

Many workers still live in dilapidated homes, and though landlords try to help, their efforts are spontaneous and not properly coordinated.

A report by the ministry said there are 310 urban social housing projects in the country with 156,000 homes, while another 401 are under development with 455,000 homes.

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