Resources go waste as resettlement houses find no takers

June 10, 2024 - 08:30
There are thousands of unoccupied resettlement houses even as a shortage of affordable housing plagues the country, experts said.
A social housing development in HCM City. Localities across the country are focusing on social housing development as part of a national strategy to meet the growing needs of the populace. — VNA/VNS Photo

HCM CITY — There are thousands of unoccupied resettlement houses even as a shortage of affordable housing plagues the country, experts said.

According to a report by the Vietnam Association of Real Estate Brokers, 13,000 apartments built to resettle people whose lands were acquired for public works in HCM City and Hà Nội are currently empty.

Poor construction quality and inconvenient locations have been blamed for the situation, resulting in wasted maintenance costs.

Experts said the lack of basic infrastructure and amenities in resettlement areas and complicated compensation and resettlement provisions in the Land Law are contributing factors.

Nguyễn Văn Đính, chairman of the Vietnam Association of Realtors, said the presence of unoccupied resettlement houses amid a shortage of affordable housing is a major waste.

Experts recommend repurposing them as social housing to meet the demand for affordable housing and prevent the squander of resources.

But there are obstacles to the conversion process, especially with the size of some apartments exceeding the limit set for social housing of 70 square metres.

The experts suggest dividing large units to comply with the regulations.

Phạm Đức Toản, director general of EZ Property, proposed auctioning off unoccupied resettlement apartments and using the proceeds to develop new affordable housing.

Economist Nguyễn Trí Hiếu called for conducting surveys before developing comprehensive plans for the conversion.

HCM City has started auctioning unused apartments for potential conversion into affordable housing units.

Local authorities are required to provide reports on the management and utilisation of resettlement housing and suggest viable solutions.

Social housing

The Government is actively working on developing social housing projects to address the affordable housing shortage in the country.

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính called for collaboration between the public and private sectors to ensure success in building one million social housing units by 2030.

Some VNĐ849 trillion ($36.1 billion) has been allocated to build 428,000 social housing units by 2025, with funding coming from various sources to make housing more accessible to low- and middle-income families in urban areas and industrial areas.

Localities are encouraged to participate in these programmes, simplify procedures for potential borrowers and enforce regulations related to land and real estate.

There are over 2.7 million workers in industrial zones, with 1.2 million in need of housing assistance.

The country has completed 301 social housing and workers’ housing projects, providing a total of 155,800 homes, and another 503 social housing projects are underway with 418,200 apartments. — VNS