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Industrial zone workers in need of more housing

Update: August, 25/2014 - 08:49
Figures from the provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs showed there were 14 industrial zones in the provinces with nearly 43,000 workers, of whom more than 26,000 were migrants and needed accommodation.— Photo hanoimoi

BA RIA VUNG TAU (VNS) — Workers at economic and industrial zones in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau are facing a serious housing shortage because enterprises do not want to invest in accommodation for them.

Figures from the provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs showed there were 14 industrial zones in the provinces with nearly 43,000 workers, of whom more than 26,000 were migrants and needed accommodation.

However, only about 20 per cent had stable housing, and the rest had to lease houses in nearby residential areas with low-quality living environments and security.

Mai Van Loc, a worker at the My Xuan Industrial Zone in Tan Thanh District, said he and his family rented a 12-square-metre room near his workplace for VND500,000 ($23.5) per month.

He said the room was always humid and stuffy, but he had no choice because his salary of VND4 million ($188) was his family's only source of income.

Hoang Thi Hoa, a worker at the Dong Xuyen Industrial Zone in Vung Tau City, said she was worried because her landlord could increase the rent at any time.

She said she hoped to rent a small house that matched her monthly salary of VND4.5 million ($212) without worrying about unreasonable price hikes.

Dao Thi Huong from the Tung Mai Construction Co,Ltd said the money needed to build apartments for workers would reach tens of billions of dong.

However, the price of apartments must be low so workers could afford them, so it would take years to make back the investment.

She admitted that she was not interested in building in this field.

Chau Van Thang, chairman of the provincial Labour Federation, said the State should allocate more funds to build houses for workers to increase the supply on housing and stabilise the real estate market.

The State should have more concrete incentive policies to stimulate firms to pump money into building housing for workers, he said.

He suggested the State should exempt enterprises from paying land use fees and give more support policies to build infrastructure and site clearance. — VNS

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