|Ly Thuong Kiet apartment in District 11, HCM City. The city plans to tear down some 70 old apartment buildings that house more than 7,200 apartments. — Photo nld.com.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — HCM City plans to tear down some 70 old apartment buildings that house more than 7,200 apartments and move their occupants to resettlement areas as part of a programme to replace old buildings.
It will refurbish three old apartment buildings with total floor space of 10,000sq.m and replace 61 old buildings with new ones that will have around 9,870 apartments.
The city plans to offer incentives for investors to renovate old buildings, including waiver of corporate and value-added taxes for five years and land-use and -lease fees.
For years, resettlement has remained a tricky issue with residents refusing to evacuate and investors not showing interest in rebuilding old buildings due to the slow nature of the task and low profits.
Negotiations for compensation are usually the main problem for investors.
Policies to encourage residents to evacuate are not effective and it usually takes many years to evacuate crumbling apartment buildings. Authorities face severe resistance while attempting to move out residents who are generally dissatisfied with the compensation.
For instance, Co Giang apartments in District 1 with 750 units, which was built in 1964, is now in danger of collapsing at any time.
Since 2011 the city People's Committee has been exhorting District 1 authorities to move out residents to safe places, but many simply refuse to budge, citing insufficient compensation or complaining that the alternate accommodation provided is too far away from the city centre.
A Department of Construction official, who asked for anonymity, said the compensation policies have shortcomings that need to be addressed.
Besides, it is not easy to uproot people from their old homes and relocate them elsewhere to start life from scratch, the official admitted.
Most residents living in old apartment buildings are poor and earn a living in nearby areas. Consigning them to the suburbs would cause inconvenience for all of them, the official said.
Experts said the regulations for evacuation of crumbling apartment buildings are not comprehensive and need to be revised to protect the rights of residents.
In the last five years the city has demolished only 10 old apartment buildings with a total of 40,000sq.m, according to the Department of Construction.
HCM City has more than 1,200 apartment buildings, 570 of which were built before 1975 and are in a dilapidated state. — VNS