Workers' housing finds few takers in northern industrial hub

By Duc Minh, Anh Tu   October 1, 2023 | 05:46 pm PT
Workers' housing finds few takers in northern industrial hub
An overview of Bac Ninh province. Photo by VnExpress/Ba Do
Northern industrial hub Bac Ninh Province, which recently built some 4,000 apartments for factory workers, has sold few of them since young workers do not want to buy housing.

Developers have put up 1,681 units for sale, but workers have registered to buy only 357 of them. They are part of 4,000 that have been built at seven location.

Over 70% of workers come from other provinces, and people aged 18-30 mostly do not want to buy housing and instead prefer to rent living space in boarding houses, Ngo Tan Phuong, vice chairman of the province People’s Committee, told VnExpress.

It is not known if the province or developers surveyed demand before embarking on the construction.

Besides, many cannot afford to buy, even low-cost workers’ housing in multistory apartment buildings since their monthly income averages VND9-10 million (US$340-380) and they often have to send money back to their hometowns to support their family.

Bac Ninh has 15 industrial parks, the most of any northern province and among the five highest in Vietnam.

Over 314,000 workers had been employed in the parks as of the end of last year.

In Ho Chi Minh City, a social housing project in Thu Duc City plans to sell over 1,000 apartments later this year, but workers have registered to buy only 100 of them.

Its developer said the eligibility criteria to buy them are outdated since the income threshold has remained unchanged for eight years while housing prices have nearly doubled in the last five years.

The criterion is that the income should not exceed VND11 million a month.

Through proposed amendments to the Housing Law, the Ministry of Construction seeks to make more people eligible to buy social housing by removing residency conditions and raising the income threshold.

Currently people need permanent residence or temporary residence for at least one year in the place where the housing project is located.

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