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Vietnam in dire demand for social housing

Saturday, December 17, 2016, 13:34 GMT+7

A large group of labor-class citizens in Vietnam are in need of a place to live while social housing projects across the country are failing to meet current demand.

About 1.5 million workers in the Southeast Asian nation are unable to settle down in a stable home as many social housing projects continue to be hampered by multiple factors.

The issue was discussed during a nationwide online meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Wednesday.

Speaking at the e-gathering, Minister of Construction Pham Hong Ha confirmed that a total of 179 social housing projects with over 71,100 apartments had been completed as of November, accounting for only 28 percent of the overall goal.

One of the reasons for such sluggish progress is that local authorities have yet to commit in mobilizing land banks for the construction works, said Minister Ha.

According to Nguyen Quoc Hung, vice-chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee, an investment fund should be established to provide the necessary financial capacity for the social housing schemes.

“Such projects should be designed in a way that ensures quality and affordable prices for the targeted buyers,” Hung continued.

Vice-chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City administration Le Van Khoa proposed that the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies should offer loans to low-income citizens to put toward housing.

Resolving housing issues for Vietnamese workers is an urgent matter, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said at the meeting.

Industrial parks across the country are employing about 2.6 million laborers, most of whom are working far away from their hometowns, said Deputy PM Dam.

Vietnam can only develop when its workers settle down in stable homes where they can build families, raise their children, and commit to their jobs.

Building houses for working-class citizens has to be funded by the national budget, the deputy premier asserted.

Concluding the meeting, PM Phuc stressed that developing social housing projects for laborers is a form of investment in the nation.

“It is the responsibility of the state, the society, and the people,” he stated.

Statistics provided by the Ministry of Construction showed that the country will be in need of one million apartments for the working class by 2020.

According to the prime minister, local authorities are required to carry out measures to provide affordable, standardized housing for people with low incomes.

Businesses are also encouraged to invest in constructing homes for their employees and workers should manage their savings for investment in future housing.

Relevant ministries will be asked to adjust their policies on land funding, investment capital, and administrative procedures regarding social housing schemes, PM Phuc added.

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