HCMC to apply specific mechanisms to develop social housing

Ho Chi Minh City will apply specific mechanisms to develop social housing as the southern metropolis.

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HCMC will apply specific mechanisms to develop social housing

In the 2021-2025 period, Ho Chi Minh City is assigned to the construction of at least 26,200 social housing. This is a difficult but possible task if the city applies special mechanisms in the National Assembly’s Resolution No. 98/2023/QH15 on piloting a number of specific mechanisms and policies for the development of Ho Chi Minh City to speed up the implementation of investment procedures and remove obstacles related to land and planning.

According to the Ho Chi Minh City housing development plan from 2021 to 2025 and the Project to build at least one million social housing apartments for low-income earners and industrial park workers between 2021 and 2030 of the Prime Minister, the southern largest city is expected to develop about 26,200-35,000 affordable apartments including accommodation for workers. Moreover, the city strives to to reach a minimum of 500,000 square meters of floor area of social housing for rent.

Over the past time, Ho Chi Minh City has implemented many solutions to speed up the progress of housing development in general and social housing in particular. However, the development of social housing faces many difficulties in planning, land funding, and lengthy investment procedures, making businesses less interested in pouring money in building affordable houses. Besides, many projects that have been implemented also encounter difficulties.

According to the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Construction, the city currently has 36 social housing projects that are completing legal procedures to ensure conditions for construction with a scale of 34,750 condos. If these projects are completed in time, they will fully meet the city's targets. Of the 36 projects, a maximum of 13 projects (12,000 apartments) are expected to be completed and put into use by 2025 whereas the rest are difficult to complete.

In addition, in the period 2021-2030, of some 88 projects/land plots in the city are expected to invest in social housing construction, 18 projects are undergoing investment policy approval procedures. If the progress of implementing procedures to implement these projects is accelerated, it will also contribute to realizing the city's goals. Deputy Director of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Construction Huynh Thanh Khiet affirmed that for projects that are carrying out investment procedures, the department will make efforts to quickly carry out construction.

In addition, according to the Department of Planning and Architecture of Ho Chi Minh City, of the 88 projects/land areas for building social housing, 16 projects do not comply with the planning and only 56 projects suit the city planning while the rest are consistent with the general planning but not in accordance with the zoning planning.

There is no zoning planning yet. Because there are projects that do not comply with the planning, Deputy Director of the Department of Planning and Economics Phan Van Tuan said that there is currently no master planning plan for social housing development, so a comprehensive survey on housing, especially social housing is needed. Based on the comprehensive survey on housing, the Department can calculate and determine land funds for social housing development.

The Department of Planning and Architecture also proposed areas and locations for planning industrial parks, export processing zones, high-tech zones, and planning areas to build social housing in the general planning project which serves as a basis for social housing development according to the Resolution No. 98.

At the end of 2023, the Ho Chi Minh City People's Council issued a resolution on implementing social housing projects in the city. In planning work, the People's Council requested the municipal People's Committee to study and comprehensively evaluate to include in the planning of land area for social housing construction. When responsible agencies prepare and approve planning for the construction of industrial parks and export processing zones, they should necessarily determine the land area suitable for building social housing, ensuring a minimum land fund of 2 percent of the total area of industrial parks and export processing zones for construction of housing, service works and utilities.

Along with that, there needs to be procedures to shorten the implementation time of investment projects to build social housing and worker accommodation by applying mechanisms and policies in the Resolution 98.

To implement the resolution of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Council, the People’s Committee has issued a plan and assigned specific tasks and time to each relevant agency. During working sessions on social housing development, Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Phan Van Mai also requested units to concentrate highly on completing the target that at least 26,200 social housing apartments will be available in the market by 2025. In particular, in addition to urging investors to implement their commitment to building social housing, it is necessary to apply the Resolution 98 to shorten the time of investment procedures for developers of social housing projects.

Along with ongoing projects, the Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee assigned the Department of Construction to coordinate with relevant units to apply specific mechanisms and policies in the Resolution 98 for building social housing for people with average incomes such as civil servants, public employees, armed forces, writers, artists, and athletes with high achievements.

On the other hand, the government should facilitate state-owned enterprises’ participation in building social housing for the above-mentioned groups.

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