Ministry gives social housing another push

Thien Thanh Sanitaryware joint company

Ministry gives social housing another push

The Ministry of Construction recently asked local authorities nationwide to quicken the building of social housing, in a bid to comply with the national housing development strategy. Among the requests was to simplify administrative procedures in determining which borrowers were eligible for preferential loans from the Govern-ment's VND30 trillion (US$1.33 billion) support package for the realty market.

In addition, coordination with the State Bank of Viet Nam and credit institutions was needed to tighten inspections to prevent abuses during the implementation of the preferential loan package.

Further, the measures seek to guarantee that the assistance package helps those people it was intended for, as well as developers, and to speed its disbursement, according to the ministry.

Statistics from the ministry's Housing and Real Estate Market Management Department indicate that, as of the end of July, only one-third of the support package had been disbursed, some two years after having been implemented.

Involved commercial banks committed to loan more than VND17 trillion ($755.55 million) from the support package, as of July 30, to 24,150 households and 43 developers, with more than VND10 trillion ($444.44 million) having been disbursed.

In order to support developers of social housing projects, the construction ministry said administrative reforms must be improved to create advantageous conditions for developers in converting commercial housing projects into social housing projects.

Regarding converted projects that have already been approved, construction must be quickened to prevent wastes of land and financial resources, the ministry advised, adding that official approval for projects seen as lagging would be revoked.

The ministry also urged developers to complete legal documents for social housing projects to allow early granting of home ownership certificates to buyers.

To date, the construction of 102 social housing projects were completed, while 150 others are underway, throughout the country.

Minister of Construction Trinh Dinh Dung, on a television programme broadcast last month, said low-income housing projects still lagged far behind demand due to the lack of funds and incentives.

The country needs an estimated 200,000 apartments for low-income earners by 2020, adding to the 700,000 units built during the 2012-15 period.

Pressing needs

Besides Ha Noi and HCM City, Binh Duong Province also encountered the pressing needs of social housing development because there were nearly 1 million immigrant labourers in the southern province.

After five years of carrying out the social housing development programme, Binh Duong Province has seen construction of 82 social housing projects offering 85,070 units and valued at more than VND19 trillion ($848.214 million), which was to provide housing for more than 238,000 people.

To date, 22 social housing projects were completed in the province, supplying housing for nearly 37,000 people. Also, 34 projects with living space of more than 1 million sq. metres was expected to be completed by the end of this year.

However, many projects have not been completed or are only partially built. Difficult access to the Government's preferential loan package, coupled with lack of incentives and low profits, were discussed as causes for developers' hesitation to join the social development programme.