Most residential buildings for resettlement programs in Hanoi have been complained of quick downgrade and some are even unaffordable for living standards.
One of the leading reasons is low construction quality, but local authorities have been fumbling to find measures to tackle the problem.
The low construction quality was the result of a lack of competitiveness in the market and the dereliction of duty from authorities.
The residential buildings were built as part of compensation for relocating people after their land was taken for the construction of public facilities. That means thousands of people in Hanoi had no option but to receive the houses that have quickly deteriorated.
Examples in Hanoi
It is common to see houses built under resettlement programs sink and end up flooded. Others haven’t had electricity and clean water for years.
Some buildings can’t even meet basic requirements for living.
Nguyen Quoc Tuan, deputy head of the construction department of Hanoi, admitted that the troubles have existed for years and have been covered by the media, but the situation remains unchanged because of a lack of investment.
He also promised that his agency has assigned the State-run Hanoi Housing Development and Management Company to advance money to upgrade the facilities before being refunded later.
Den Lu 2, an area for resettlement residences in Hoang Mai District, has been downgraded for many recent years even though it was built to resettle hundreds of households from Vinh Tuy Ward of Hai Ba Trung District to build the Vinh Tuy Bridge in 2005.
Several years after that, the foundation of the A1 building was sunken, with walls decayed and bricks peeling off. The roof of building A3 was leaking, with the emergency stairs broken off and unusable and waste water leaking into the parking lot.
Nguyen Thi Phe, head of the residential area of Den Lu 2, added that hundreds of families in the area lack clean water, while the elevators have regular problems.
“We can’t bear anymore of this situation,” she noted.
The Dong Tau resettlement buildings in Thinh Liet Ward of Hoang Mai District are another example. After being removed from their houses for the construction of the Nga Tu So road and To Lich river banks in 2006, locals were resettled in nine buildings in the Dong Tau area.
But their new houses have been falling apart since 2011, threatening the safety of residents.
Many apartments in building N2 building have cracked walls and broken floors. The wastewater pipes in buildings N3, N6 and N7 are broken or blocked, causing smelly water to leak into houses.
The residents of these decaying resettlement buildings have lodged complaints to the Hanoi Housing Development and Management Company, under the Hanoi Department of Construction. Local authorities have inspected the buildings but nothing has changed.
Locals have had to spend their own money for temporary repairs, except for problems involving structural steel and concrete.
Nguyen Quoc Tuan, deputy director of the Hanoi construction department, admitted that the apartments of the resettlement buildings have many problems.
However, he added, the buildings were transferred before the construction law came into effect in 2003, so investors were not required to leave a fund for repair and maintenance of the facilities.
So, any costs for repair must be covered by the budget of the city, a job that has been delayed for years, he added.
He said his ministry is inspecting the situation to begin repairs soon and will focus on repairing indispensable facilities such as electricity and water supply, hygienic works and elevators.
Recently, the Ministry of Construction has sent documents requiring the People’s Committee of Hanoi to check all resettlement buildings in the city and repair them to meet safety standards.