Affordable housing in demand

Update: February, 11/2015 - 08:48
Apartment buildings for workers at the Tan Binh Industrial Zone in HCM City. The city needs to issue more favourable policies for attract enterprises to develop affordable social housing projects. — VNA/VNS Photo Pham Do

HCM CITY (VNS) — More incentives are needed to encourage businesses to develop affordable housing and social housing projects, a HCM City official has said.

The official from the Housing Development and Real Estate Market Division under the Construction Department, who declined to be named, said there were insufficient incentives for enterprises to develop such housing.

He said the city should use public land to create a Social Housing Fund by calling on various sectors of society to invest in social housing, especially in resettlement housing projects.

The city should spend between 30 and 50 per cent from land-use money collected from commercial housing projects to fund the Social Housing Fund.

The city should also develop affordable house-leasing projects with an aim to change people's perception of house ownership.

Le Hoang Chau, chairman of the HCM City Real Estate Association, said the Government and the Construction Ministry needed to focus on a national programme to develop social housing for lease instead of for sale.

Chau said it was better to lease social housing instead of for sale because the price of many commercial housing projects was as low as social housing projects.

Chau said in order to encourage enterprises to invest in housing for lease projects, the Government should extend the payment of land use for enterprises.

This year the city plans to build eight million of square metres of housing, which will increase the average accommodation space to 17 square metres per person, according to the Construction Department.

In order to achieve the target, the city will continue to develop more social housing projects to meet rising demand.

At present social housing only meets one-third of the demand of the public.

This year, the city will complete 13 resettlement projects with more than 7,000 apartments and land lots with a total of more than 905,000sq.m.

The city will also develop five social housing projects with nearly 3,600 apartments, with a total area of 312,000sq.m.

In a related issue, the Construction Ministry said this year it would focus on social housing development.

Speaking at a recent meeting held in Ha Noi, Construction Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said the ministry had identified the real estate market as one of the priority sectors for 2015, and that it would continue to implement measures to tackle challenges facing the market.

According to the ministry, more than 100 social housing projects in key cities like Ha Noi and HCM City have been completed, including 38 projects with 19,680 apartments for low-income earners, and 64 housing projects with 20,270 apartments for workers.

Around 150 other projects are under construction, including 91 housing projects for poor people and 59 projects with 122,500 apartments for workers, the ministry said. — VNS