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City housing scheme helps disadvantaged

Update: September, 04/2013 - 09:20

House rents in HCM City may have increased over the last year, but Le Thanh Hoa of Thu Duc District has kept hers unchanged under a city programme especially meant to benefit disadvantaged people.— File Photo

HCM CITY (VNS) — House rents in HCM City may have increased over the last year, but Le Thanh Hoa of Thu Duc District has kept hers unchanged under a city programme especially meant to benefit disadvantaged people.

Hoa, who rents 40 rooms out to workers in Residential Area No. 5 in Linh Xuan Ward, is one of many landlords who have signed up for the programme.

The programme is one of several social security measures announced by the city's Party Committee in May.

Hoa has also worked with the Women's Union in the ward to set up a boarding house owners club with 20 members to help tenants when they have difficulties.

More than 60,000 landlords have promised to keep rents unchanged until the end of this year, helping ease the situation for the one million renters already hit by price hikes for many essential goods, the Party Committee's Mass Mobilisation Board reported at a meeting last Thursday.

More than 76,000 boarding house owners in the city have also helped 1.16 million tenants register their electricity and water utilities so that they can pay official prices, the board said.

Often landlords force tenants to pay much higher prices.

More than 4,600 companies have also joined the programme and taken measures to support and improve the lives of 505,000 workers.

More than 1,700 private kindergartens and families caring for workers' children have promised not to increase fees this year.

Speaking at the meeting, Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, deputy secretary of the city Party Committee, urged the city Fatherland Front and other organisations to continue monitoring people's situations, especially the retired, the poor, workers, and those eligible for the Government's priority policies, to properly implement social policies.

She called on relevant authorities to keep a close eye on the relationship between employers and employees to promptly resolve labour disputes.

She also ordered them to review anti-poverty programmes and draw up a list of those living below and near the poverty line to support them.

At the meeting, the People's Committee presented certificates of merit to 29 organisations and 74 individuals for their contributions to helping poor people and implementing social policies.

Tax exemption for landlords

Deputy chairwoman of the HCM City People's Committee Nguyen Thi Hong has asked for tax exemption to be continued for local landlords who keep house rents unchanged despite the increased prices for many essential goods.

She said that since 2011, the Government agreed with the city's policy on exemption of value added tax and personal income tax for the landlords, which helped encourage them to join in relieving the burden for house renters, mostly poor and low-income earners in the city, thus ensuring social welfare.

Accordingly, in the last two years, over 10,000 landlords in the city were given tax exemptions worth VND16.3 billion (US$776,000).

"This benefited millions of workers and poor labourers," she said, adding that, however, the policy was invalid this year.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh, in his working visit to the city late last month, said that the Government would propose a continuation of the tax exemption to the National Assembly.

He also applauded the positive effect of the city's campaign that encouraged landlords to keep house rents unchanged. — VNS

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