|Among 80 apartments allocated to officials of the Government Office in Hoang Cau Block in Ha Noi's Dong Da District, few tenants have agreed to return the houses and most are unused or used by officials' relatives. — Photo tienphong
HA NOI (VNS) — The construction ministry is planning to reclaim State-owned houses from retired civil servants and revoke them from those found misusing the facility.
A circular issued by the ministry last March to improve the management of State-owned houses that are allotted to certain public officials, usually leaders of State, Government, ministries and agencies when they are assigned to certain posts or missions.
The circular sets out five instances wherein civil servants have to return the State-owned houses: retirement; death; transfer to other localities; and misuse of accommodation.
Vu Xuan Thien, deputy head of the construction Department for Housing and Real Estate Market Management under the ministry, said that for a long time, it had been difficult to reclaim State-owned houses from retired civil servants because of ambiguous regulations.
He said that previously, Government had allowed certain public officials to live in villas or apartments without any rental contract, so there was an "absence of agreement over tenancy".
He said that rent for the State-owned houses was also not regulated clearly, causing confusion for management agencies.
Some housing managers followed the Decision 118/TTG dated 1992 in which the rent was extracted directly from the renters' salary. Others followed the Decision 90/2006/ND-CP in which tenants paid rent equal to 10 per cent of their salary and allowance, he said.
"The rent that the Government imposes is not enough to meet operation and maintenance costs for the house," he said.
In many cases, tenants had to spend their own money to fix or improve the houses, he said.
"That's among the reasons tenants are reluctant to return and leave the houses when they are not eligible to stay there anymore," he said.
Among 80 apartments allocated to officials of the Government Office in Hoang Cau Block in Ha Noi's Dong Da District, few tenants have agreed to return the houses and most are unused or used by officials' relatives.
The block was originally managed by the Government Office. But since this year, it has been handed over to the Ministry of Construction.
It has also been found that many public officials who retired many years ago are still living in the block. Some officials have died, but their wives and children are still living there.
One resident, Nguyen Thi Phi Yen, said that her husband had been allocated an apartment in the block in 2000 and he retired in 2003.
"Since 2003, no one has asked us to leave the house," she told Tin Tuc (News) newspaper, "so, we are still living here."
Yen said that her family was willing to leave if required as long as the authorised agency had a clear plan and offered support for them to find new residence.
Thien, the construction ministry official, said the ministry would help the retired civil servants who returned State-owned houses to access preferential loans to buy or rent new houses.
The ministry estimates there are 49 villas and nearly 6,400 apartments with a total area of about 315,000sq.m that the Government allows civil servants to live in when they are on duty. — VNS