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Half-finished villas become boarding homes in outlying Hanoi

By Ngoc Thanh, Hong Chieu   November 20, 2021 | 05:29 am PT
Contractors have rented unfinished villas left untouched for years in western Hanoi to provide boarding houses for workers.
Half-finished villas become boarding homes in outlying Hanoi

Hoai Duc District is currently home to hundreds of luxury estates abandoned at various stages of completion, including Nam An Khanh, Lideco, Van Canh.

These projects are not connected with key facilities as they lie far away from the inner-city and other residential areas, making them unattractive to buyers. Most are built on subdivided land plots, which means investors have bought the land via subdivision, by which large tracts of land had been divided into many smaller parcels by other investors, making it challenging for authorities to manage.

Half-finished villas become boarding homes in outlying Hanoi

For years, villas that have yet to find buyers have been used by several contractors as boarding houses for construction workers.

Normally, the contractors rent a space for VND3-4 million ($140-180), with workers only paying electricity and water fees.

Half-finished villas become boarding homes in outlying Hanoi

Nguyen Thi Huu, a native of Vinh Phuc Province, 60 kilometers northwest of Hanoi, is in charge of cooking for a group of 15 workers, including her husband.

She used to work for an electronics firm in Bac Ninh, a neighboring province of Hanoi, but quit to follow her husband who obtained a "much less stressful" job.

Half-finished villas become boarding homes in outlying Hanoi

Another group of workers from north central Nghe An Province has lunch right where they sleep.

Ho Van Nam, 43, said for the past two years, he and other workers in the group have been hired to complete half-finished villas of the Nam An Khanh project so investors could keep them on the market.

Each worker is paid VND300,000 per day, but they do not spend all year round working at these projects. Every year during rice harvest season, they would return home before later returning to the construction site.

Half-finished villas become boarding homes in outlying Hanoi

A worker named Sau said the villa he is currently staying in has been under construction for nearly a decade.

"I wonder why they left it abandoned like this."

Half-finished villas become boarding homes in outlying Hanoi

A female worker inside another unfinished villa.

In most cases, women take care of light work like cleaning construction sites and removing old layers of mortar to repaint walls. Their salary is therefore lower, at around VND6-7 million per month.

Half-finished villas become boarding homes in outlying Hanoi

A worker takes a shower.

Half-finished villas become boarding homes in outlying Hanoi

Workers usually set up canvas to create their own private space.

Half-finished villas become boarding homes in outlying Hanoi

A group of workers is charged with completing this half-finished villa.
Their work includes getting rid of moss and mold, plastering and painting walls, and removing wild grass around the building.

Half-finished villas become boarding homes in outlying Hanoi

A worker named Nam said a smartphone is the most valuable asset of a migrant worker. They have to keep a close eye on the device at night as there have been cases when thieves sneaked in and stole their phones.

As the villas are situated in deserted and inhabited areas, they do not dare chase after the thieves.

Half-finished villas become boarding homes in outlying Hanoi

In 2012, Hanoi authorities plus the Ministry of Finance jointly considered taxing or penalizing investors leaving half-finished villas abandoned. By then, the city had counted more than 1,200 villas and townhouses that had been basically completed.

However, until now, no move has been made to reprimand investors.

 
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