Life in southern Vietnam's super-cheap apartments

By Quynh Tran   February 10, 2017 | 08:40 pm GMT+7

$4,400 will pay for a 30 square meter apartment in the southern province of Binh Duong.

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In 2015, a series of cheap apartments were completed in Binh Duong Province, just north of Ho Chi Minh City. The apartments are now home for around 2,500 families, who have paid from $4,400-8,800 for houses of 30-60 square meters. Vietnam's average annual income was around $2,200 last year.

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Electronics worker Le Thi Thu said that her 30 square meter apartment is home to four members of her family. She bought the house on a 7-year installment plan and pays about $65 per month.

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Le Trong Nhat's apartment includes a common room, a restroom and a mezzanine. The whole family sleeps in the common room while the mezzanine is used as a study area for his two kids.

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“After working for 10 years, I can finally afford my own house,” Nhat said. “My house is just a bit larger than a rented room but I feel very comfortable living in this space.”

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Located in Binh Duong's Thu Dau Mot Town, the apartment blocks have water, electricity and internet access.

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Prices depend on location. The upper apartments cost around $4,400 while those on the ground floor are about $22,000 per unit.

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Apart from basic facilities like coffee shops, food stalls and garages, the apartments have a small market...

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...and a private kindergarten in the basement.

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Many elderly people have also left their homes to look after their grandchildren while their parents are working in nearby factories. 

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Children play in the square every afternoon.

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Entertainment services for children flourish in the evening.

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Authorities are aiming to build 64,000 cheap apartments so that by 2020, around 164,000 low-income workers in the province will have decent homes.

Photos by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

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