A social housing project for low-income workers in Đồng Nai City. — Photo dangcongsan.vn
HCM CITY — Đồng Nai faces a severe shortage of workers’ housing since 60 per cent of the southern province’s one million workers hail from other provinces and cities.
Most workers and their families live in a shabby rented room because budget social housing is being built too slowly.
Nguyễn Thanh Sơn is a worker who came from the central province of Nghệ An to work at the Hố Nai Industrial Park in Trảng Bom District 10 years ago.
He and his wife have three children. The couple earn VNĐ10 million (US$400) a month and can only save VNĐ1-2 million ($45-90) out of that.
His room measures a mere 15sq.m. His children often fall sick because of their poor condition.
“We try hard to save for a house but we cannot because our income is just enough for our daily needs,” Sơn told Việt Nam News Agency.
His is one of 12 rooms in Bùi Chu Hamlet in Trảng Bom’s Bắc Sơn Commune, most of which are rented by workers from central and northern provinces.
“Owning a house is a very distant dream for us. We used to hear a lot about social housing where workers like us can pay a little every month. But we hear no more.”
A recent survey by the Đồng Nai Trade Union found only 8 per cent of workers have savings while 72 per cent live from hand to mouth.
Due to their low incomes, 62 per cent of workers have to work extra time, with most facing financial difficulties and lacking support from their families.
In recent times several companies that hire a lot of workers, like Phong Thái and Chính Xác Việt Nam in Trảng Bom District and Chinwell Fastener in Nhơn Trạch District, have built a combined 65,000sq.m of bachelor housing for 10,000 workers.
“Companies building dormitories for their workers is very good but in the long term workers will marry and need their own houses,” Tăng Quốc Lập, deputy chairman of the Đồng Nai Trade Union, said.
The Trade Union has called on the provincial People’s Committee to build apartments for workers at VNĐ6 million ($266) per sq.m, VNĐ2 million ($85) less than the price stipulated by the Ministry of Construction.
Workers could pay for the houses each month together with low interest, Lập said.
Besides, the Trade Union would ask relevant authorities to fix standards for space, hygiene and rents for rented accommodation, he added.
Nguyễn Thanh Lâm, deputy director of the province’s Department of Construction, said “By 2020, Đồng Nai Province will complete 20,000 apartments for workers and low-income people and dormitories for students.”
By 2020, housing demand in Đồng Nai would increase to over 80 million sq.m, Lâm said.
The province said to provide housing, especially for workers, the Government should provide funding for several projects and have more policies to attract investment in social housing.
In the next three years, another 150,000 rooms are expected to be added around the province for workers and 7,500 apartments in Nhơn Trạch District. — VNS