Life in southern Vietnam's super-cheap apartments

By Quynh Tran   February 10, 2017 | 05:40 am PT
$4,400 will pay for a 30 square meter apartment in the southern province of Binh Duong.

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.


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.


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.


“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.”


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


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


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


...and a private kindergarten in the basement.


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


Children play in the square every afternoon.


Entertainment services for children flourish in the evening.


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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