Public villas in Hà Nội face mounting problems

April 20, 2022 - 08:26
Old villas built before 1954 in the capital's centre have great locations, but most have deteriorated.


An old villa in Trần Hưng Đạo Street, Hà Nội — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Old villas built before 1954 in the capital's centre have great locations, but most have deteriorated.

These villas possess great value in architecture and for the economy and create highlights for the city's landscape.

Through review and research, the Hà Nội People's Committee has identified 1,216 such villas, 367 of them belonging to the Government, 732 under mixed ownership between the Government and households, and 117 under private ownership.

Many of these villas have deteriorated but lack the funds for renovation, preservation and repairs. Many of these villas date back more than 100 years, and some have caused safety issues for their users.

This lack of proper fund for management is partly due to the old villas being considered normal houses before 2009. There were no proper policies for preservation and renovation.

In the allocation, rent and usage of old villas, many households have encroached, rebuilt and renovated without permission from authorities, resulting in their disfigurement and deterioration. Individuals and groups using these villas have not fully realised the importance of protecting them.

Households living in these villas rely on the Government for renovation funding, but the funds are not adequate for proper repair work, thus making the management of state-owned or partly state-owned villas ineffective.

Handiresco LLC., Hà Nội Housing Management and Development One-member LLC. (HMDC), and the Ministry of Defence's Urban and Housing Development Investment Corporation is currently responsible for managing state-owned public villas. However, only Handiresco is effectively managing their eight allocated villas. 

The fund of specialised villas is currently managed by HMDC but has not been effectively used because there was no mechanism or policy on the auction of the right to rent, with a one-time payment for 207 state-owned villas that weren't for sale.

"We must properly evaluate the current situation involving old villas in the city," said Dương Đức Tuấn, Deputy Chairman of the Hà Nội People's Committee. 

"From these evaluations, we can propose effective measures for better management and push for the creation of lists and profiles for the management and preservation of pre-1954 villas, avoiding wasting land resources."

Solutions suggested by Hà Nội include: amending Law No. 25/2012/QH13 on the capital with additional inputs on old villas, old houses and other dated structures; and creating incentives for individuals and groups participating in the renovation and rebuilding of old structures in the historic inner-city areas.

The city will seek to complete the legal framework for urban renovation, decoration and reconstruction; improve the cooperation mechanism between the public and the private sector in urban renovation, decoration and rebuilding; and encourage public-private partnerships in urban renovation and reconstruction.

The capital will effectively coordinate and control the use of additional value from land rent, ensuring the harmony of interests of the State, businesses and people in the process of urban renovation, embellishment and reconstruction; and develop and encourage mechanisms for land collection and adjustment for urban reconstruction, especially in historic inner-city areas.

The city can bid and lease state-owned old villas for tourism, cultural, arts and culinary services and create auctions to sell old villas (except for ones of special value or those with high rental value). Buyers must be committed to preserving, decorating and maintaining these structures.

"To create capital to carry out the renovation, embellishment and reconstruction of the historic inner city of old houses, villas and other dated structures, the city will continue to sell 600 old villas on the HMDC's rental management list," said Dương Đức Tuấn, Deputy Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee.

"At the same time, we are also reviewing the list of 207 old villas on the list of villas not for sale. The city also plans auctions and leasing for 10-15 years at market price for 34 special-use villas under management by the HMDC.

"The not-for-sale list, which includes 105 old villas used as agency headquarters and housing for people, is also being adjusted to develop a relocation plan and auctioned or leased for 10-15 years at market price."

The Hà Nội People's Committee requires the Department of Construction to assume the prime responsibility for and coordinate with other departments, branches, People's Committees of Ba Đình, Hoàn Kiếm, Hai Bà Trưng, Tây Hồ, Đống Đa districts as well as other authorities in the implementation of the plan.

There must also be a focus on examining and inspecting the management of public villas in correlation with the Law on Anti-corruption, the Law on Thrift Practice, and the Fight against Waste.

Implementation results should be updated to the Party Personnel Committee of the City People's Committee to report to the City Party Committee and Programme Steering Committee.

The city’s People’s Committee yesterday announced it had decided to postpone selling 600 old villas, which were classified as “available” in Resolution 18 on the management of villas in the city, issued in 2008 by the city’s People’s Council, for overall assessment. — VNS