Houses shrink into rooms as Saigon street expands

By Huu Khoa, Gia Minh   December 20, 2020 | 05:32 pm GMT+7
A project to enlarge Bui Dinh Tuy Street in HCMC's Binh Thanh District has pushed many families to live in "super slim" houses.
For the past three months, 70 houses along the two sides of Bui Dinh Tuy Street have taken turn to be demolished to give space for enlarging a section of 225 meters of the street. After the expansion, the section will be widened to 12 meters instead of 4-5 meters as currently. The total compensation for affected families has been estimated at VND180 billion ($7.75 million).

Over the past three months, 70 houses along the two sides of Bui Dinh Tuy Street have had part of their houses demolished in turns to make space for enlarging a 225 meter section from 4-5 meters to 12 meters. The total compensation for affected families has been estimated at VND180 billion ($7.75 million).

After the demolition, several residents have rebuilt their houses, with some accepting to live in houses that are much thinner than a normal one.The expansion project is to ease traffic jam on a narrow section of Bui Dinh Tuy that usually receives lots of vehicles.

After the demolition, several residents have rebuilt their houses, with some accepting to live in houses that are much thinner than a normal one. The expansion project aims to ease traffic jams on a narrow section of the street.

An aerial view of several houses after the clearance. The one that is almost shaped like a triangle now has a total area of four meters.My house used to stretch 20 meters long and now the longest section is just three meters, but I accept that for the development of this city. said a local named Long.

An aerial view of several houses after the clearance. The one that is almost shaped like a triangle now has a total area of four square meters.
"My house used to stretch 20 meters long and now the longest section is just three meters, but I accept that for the development of this city," said a resident who only wanted to be mentioned as Long.

After handing over the space of his former house, Ma Van Hau now has a house of five meters wide and one meter long. He has been using the new space to continue doing the job of fixing electric devices.My old house was 62 square meters. After getting VND5 billion of compensation, I’ve bought another house for my family and eversince, I’ve worked here the store at day and returned home in the evening, he said, explaining that the former house is a street-front one which facilitates his business still.

After handing over the space, Ma Van Hau now has a house of five meters wide and one meter long. He has been using the new space to continue doing the job of fixing electrical devices.
"My old house was 62 square meters. After getting VND5 billion in compensation, I’ve bought another house for my family. I work here at the store during the day and return home in the evening," he said.

Huynh Meo Huong, 79, presents her family’s house, which is now less than ten square meters.Her family has been living here for 50 years and has not made plans to move out yet though her daughter has already bought a condo house. It is way too small now but we can try because the road expansion will ease traffic congestion in this area.

Huynh Meo Huong, 79, spreads her hands out to show how much her family’s house has shrunk. The house has an area of less than 10 square meters now.
Her family has been living here for 50 years and has not made plans to move out though her daughter has already bought a condo house. "It is way too small now but we can try because the road expansion will ease traffic congestion in this area."

A look inside the current house of Huong and her family of four members.

Inside the house shared by Huong and her family of four.

Nearby, Binh is living in a house of less than four square meters that he has just rented. He pays VND4 million ($172) per month to rent the space for living and doing his business. It’s small and has just enough space for one person to sleep but it is street front and is good for my business.

Nearby, Binh lives in a house of less than four square meters that he has just rented. He pays VND4 million ($172) per month to rent the space for living and doing his business.
"It’s small and has just enough space for one person to sleep but it is street front and good for my business."

This house that stretches six square meters is on sale at VND1.3 billion, and its owner has yet to find a buyer.

This house that stretches six square meters is on sale at VND1.3 billion, and its owner is yet to find a buyer.

An area where house owners have not fixed their houses after they were dismantled.A representative from Binh Thanh District said around ten houses have become super slim thanks to the site clearance process.Before clearing site for the project, the district has discussed the plan with affected families and they all went for it, but many have chosen to keep the houses no matter how small they would become because of their street-front location, he said.The district said for those who want to give up the rest of the house, it will organize an auction to sell the part left after the site clearance.

An area where house owners have not fixed their houses after they were partly demolished.
A Binh Thanh District representative said around 10 houses have become "super slim" due to the site clearance process.
"Before site clearing for the project, the district discussed the plan with affected families and they all went for it, but many have chosen to keep the houses no matter how small because of their street-front location," he said.
For those who want to give up the rest of their houses, the district will organize an auction to sell the part left after the site clearance.

The project to expand Bui Dinh Tuy Street as seen from above.

An aerial view of Bui Dinh Tuy Street.

 
 
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