Updated  
March, 11 2014 08:49:00

NA studies expansion of right to buy, own houses

Yesterday morning, the NA Standing Committee members met to discuss the amended Real Estate Business Law.— Photo cafef

HA NOI (VNS)— More people and organisations, including overseas Vietnamese and foreigners, will be eligible to buy and own houses in Viet Nam.

This is one of key contents of the amended Housing Law that members of the National Assembly Standing Committee examined yesterday, which was the first working day of its 26th session.

On behalf of the Government, Construction Minister Trinh Dinh Dung shed light on the proposal of the amended law.

He noted that the increased coverage and conditions for overseas Vietnamese and foreign individuals and organisations to buy and own houses in Viet Nam is aimed to attract talented, resourceful, and experienced people to further develop the country, boost economic integration, and will be in line with international practices.

There were two main opinions about the housing ownership of foreign individuals and organisations in Viet Nam, Dung stated.

Some agreed with the Article 155 of the proposed amended law that is "any foreigner who is allowed to enter Viet Nam and is keen to own a house in the country will have the right to buy and own it."

Others urged to have stricter requirements in place for housing ownership of foreigners to ensure national defence and security and avoid cases wherein foreigners take advantage of the policy to control the domestic housing market. For instance, foreigners staying lawfully in Viet Nam for a period of at least three months will be allowed to own houses.

Chairman of the NA Law Committee Phan Trung Ly remarked that overseas Vietnamese, who were allowed to enter the country, basically had the same housing-related rights as Vietnamese living in the country.

Under the proposal, foreign individuals and organisations allowed to stay and operate in Viet Nam can own houses belonging to housing projects during their valid duration outlined in their investment licence for organisations or individuals can own houses for a period of 50 years. The duration can be extended and they can lease their houses.

Ly reported that the NA Law Committee agreed with the policy that allowed more overseas Vietnamese and foreigners to have an opportunity to own houses in Viet Nam.

However, he emphasised that stringent requirements were also needed, for instance, they will not be allowed to buy houses in some certain areas, the number of houses or apartments that a foreigner can buy in an area or block should be limited.

"It is necessary to verify the impact of offering the extension to foreigners because the country is still struggling to provide enough housing for Vietnamese living in the country," Ly added.

Chairman of the NA Committee for National Defence and Security Nguyen Kim Khoa stated that it would be compliant if any foreigner, who is allowed to legally enter Viet Nam, can buy and own houses, especially now, as Viet Nam is quite open in allowing foreigners to enter the country. It signed agreements to exempt visa for citizens of 75 countries and territories around the world.

The proposed amended housing law is also expected to tackle the shortcomings of the current law, which was enforced eight years ago and solve the rising problems including planning, management, and restoration of apartment buildings, financing for housing development, and mechanisms or incentives to boost the development of social housing for disadvantaged and low-income individuals.

NA Finance and State Budget Chairman Phung Quoc Hien noted that income and real housing demand should be taken into account while deciding who will be given the government's housing support.

Under the proposal, beneficiaries of such support are those belonging to categories, such as state employees, people who have the merit of assisting the Revolution, the poor or low-income earners.

"Not all the people belonging to these categories have faced difficulties in owning or leasing a house," Hien remarked, implying that it will be difficult for the government to deliver support to all.

"Now, the people who are having difficulty in affording housing should be given priority," he added.

The incentives for housing developers were needed to encourage them to engage more in social or low-cost housing, thereby helping to meet the rising demands, Hien stated.

However, clear regulations were also needed to clarify obligations and responsibilities of both investors and people who will be benefited by the social housing support policy.

Yesterday morning, the NA Standing Committee members met to discuss the amended Real Estate Business Law.

The 26th session of the National Assembly Standing Committee opened in Ha Noi yesterday, with focus on improvising the draft laws on various issues, such as security and defence, economics, and education, in preparation for the upcoming sitting of the legislature.

During the five-day meeting, members of the committee will voice their opinions on the aforesaid fields, in addition to housing, real estate, and democratic rights in the light of the market economy, claimed NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung.

Specifically, the delegates will discuss the amended Real Estate Business Law, the amended Housing Law, the Law on Citizens' Identity, and the amended State Budget Law. Discussions will also be held on the revised Law on the Organisation of the People's Procuracy and the revised Law on the Organisation of the People's Court.

They will also review the Law on Entry, Exit and Residence of Foreigners in Viet Nam, the revised Notary Law, and the revised Law on Customs. Moreover, they will evaluate the ordinance on penalty on administrative violations.

Other topics scheduled for discussion entail the 2014-2016 allocation of additional Government bonds for projects scheduled to be completed between 2014 and 2015, the amendment and supplement of the Resolution No. 35/2012/QH13 on the vote of confidence to assess the performance of those officials elected or approved by the NA and the People's Councils.

The National Assembly leader also requested the members to gear up for the NA's seventh sitting, scheduled to be held in April and May, which will concentrate on the Constitution enforcement. — VNS

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