The Government's low-income housing policies shouldn't be scrapped for the sake of healing the real estate market, Trinh Dinh Dung, Minister of Construction, tells the Kinh te Viet Nam&The gioi weekly.
The Government has decided to make policies to rescue the real estate sector. How do you feel about the decision?
Some developed countries have successfully fixed their real estate "bubble" by buying redundant commodities and then selling them when the market stabilises. In some cases, the Government can benefit from this.
However, in Viet Nam, our economy is still in a difficult situation, and the State budget is limited. That's why to rescue the frozen real estate market, we cannot use other countries' examples. The Government has made policies to help real estate improve, and it has resulted in some improvement.
To solve real estate problems, it is imperative to work closely with the Housing Development Strategy and Urban Development Management team. Some policies introduced so far include adjusting commodity structures to make them suitable for the market, tax reduction and tax delay. Thanks to these policies, quite a few commercial housing projects have been adjusted to become social housing projects to for low-income households. Meanwhile, commercial banks have adopted special low-lending interest packages for low-income earners.
By now, about 80 per cent of people in need of housing have access to financial support, particularly low-income workers, so they can buy houses of their own.
Some people have suggested the Government let real estate develop in line with the market economy. However, housing policies have given special treatment to social housing projects in recent years. What's your position on the policy?
Article 22 of the 2013 Constitution says all Vietnamese citizens have the right to have their houses, and Article 59 says the Government must have a housing development policy to give all citizens shelter. That's why the Government should support people in difficult times, so they can have houses of their own. This is totally in line with our country's policy of developing a socialist-oriented market economy, in which the people are the centre.
Our housing development strategy has come to a point where it could follow a market economy system or a non-commodity market. Of course, houses under the second option still have to follow the market economy's rules. But some houses are sold below value with support from the Government. Investors enjoy a land use tax waiver because of the Government's support of social housing. A draft housing law is slated for approval in the last week of November during the ongoing National Assembly session.
What should Viet Nam do to create a sustainable real estate market?
Legal corridors must be in place to help the real estate market develop healthily and reliably, not spontaneously, like it currently is. A very important principle in real estate development is to keep your plan in line with your Government's master plan for the country.
Of course, the plan should encompass the long term (from 30-50 years), mid term (from 5-10-20 years and short term. It is necessary to implement the Government's adjustment policy to ensure real estate develops in a healthy way. Laws and policies on housing development are effective tools for building towards the goal: All citizens will have houses of their own. — VNS