As renovations to old apartment buildings in Ho Chi Minh City continue with slow results, local authorities have proposed new measures to expedite the process.
The municipal Party Committee has recently ordered that about 237 of the city’s oldest apartment complexes be pulled down and reconstructed by 2020 to ensure safety for residents and improve urban esthetics.
Several members of the public have expressed their skepticism however, saying that this will be difficult to achieve based on the sluggish efforts over the past several years.
A number of dilapidated tenements have been on the radar of local authorities for up to ten years, some even longer, but are still yet to be improved.
For example, the 727 Tran Hung Dao apartment building in District 5 was rated as dangerously run down and has been set to be re-built since 1993.
About 500 households living inside the structure began relocating in 2008, Pham Quoc Huy, chairman of the People’s Committee in District 5 said, adding that the relocation was complete in June this year, allowing the tenement to be demolished this month.
Four blocks of the Co Giang apartment building in District 1 have been evaluated as severely deteriorated since 2011, with the local administration ordering the urgent relocation of residents.
However, about 100 households have yet to move out as they are still to reach a settlement with the investor of the project.
Resettlement of residents of the degraded Thanh Da apartment building in Binh Thanh District has also been taking place since 2014, with local dwellers showing continued reluctance to follow any warnings from authorities.
“They issue this type of notice every year. I have not seen anyone moving out yet,” one resident said.
Deep cracks at the Vinh Hoi Apartment building in District 4, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The city’s authorities had established a goal to pull down 300,000 square meters of old tenements between 2006 and 2010, of which only 95,000 square meters was achieved.
During the period 2011-15, about 110,000 out of a proposed 350,000 square meters of similarly degraded structures was demolished.
The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Construction has proposed many measures to expedite the process of relocation and the renovation of severely run-down buildings.
Residents will be given between three and 12 months to negotiate and make a deal with the respective investors regarding individual compensation.
If no agreement is reached, dwellers will be moved to a temporary home and shall live in their previous residences once their apartment building is reconstructed.
The newly built apartments will be the same size as their old ones and they will not have to pay any additional charge.
Residents can also opt to receive a certain amount of money in order to afford a new place to live.
To attract more investors, new policies will also be passed to make getting involved in the renovation of these type of complexes more attractive.