Massive demand for affordable social housing among low-income earners

Access to housing for low-income people is often problematic while the demand for affordable social housing among low-income earners is massive. To solve this need, Ho Chi Minh City as well as other localities focus on housing development solutions to help workers’ and employees’ dream come true.


Massive demand for affordable social housing among low-income earners ảnh 1 A worker accomodation in Ho Chi Minh City
Porter Nguyen Dinh Khuong at Cat Lai port in Thu Duc City and his family have rented a house in Phuoc Long B Ward for 11 years. He said that it certainly can be challenging to purchase a home for some lower-than-average income workers like him.
The income and conditions of the couple are not eligible for bank loans, home prices have been constantly increasing and they are expected to continue increasing, so owning a home for many years is now a distant dream.
From time to time, when returning home from work, Mr. Khuong would go around the construction of social housing in Thanh My Loi Ward to see the construction progress. He expected that the project will be completed soon and the house price is really suitable for low-income workers like him.
Worker Truong Van Em at Pouyuen Vietnam Company hailing from the Mekong Delta Province of Kien Giang came to Ho Chi Minh City to work for more than 10 years. During 10 years, he and his family members had moved houses six times.
Currently, his family spends VND7 million (US$305) a month renting an apartment in the building Le Thanh. To save money, he asked three fellow countrymen to live together to share the rent. According to him, Pouyuen Company is preparing to build a worker dormitory, so he hoped that the project will be completed soon so that they can move to the dormitory.
Elsewhere in the city, teacher Tran Van Khang and his wife both working at Vinh Loc B Secondary School in Binh Chanh outlying district still long for their own dream house. The couple even can’t satisfy the Ho Chi Minh City's policy on social housing for low-income civil servants.
Mr. Khanh and his wife calculated that an apartment for low-income civil servants is worth about VND1.2 billion (US$ 52,257), the buyer has to pay 30 percent in advance or equivalent to VND300 million-VND400 million, they can ask for a preferential loan for the remaining amount. Although the interest rate is not high, the total amount of principal and interest to be paid monthly is nearly VND10 million meanwhile the couple's total income is only VND11 million.
In fact, over the past time, many agencies and enterprises have made efforts to create a house fund for workers and employees. For example, Binh Tan District currently has more than 800,000 people and 50 percent of them are immigrants whereas 300,000 people are workers and employees.
The demand for housing, especially social housing for workers, is very huge. In the past time, the district has focused on developing social housing projects, accommodation for workers and employees.
Up to now, the district has 87 new development residential and housing projects, of which 74 projects have been and are being implemented. In a number of large industrial zones (IZs) in the district, six locations are planned for the construction of social housing areas and accommodation areas for workers.
Currently, Binh Tan district has seven projects comprising more than 4,000 apartments that are and have not yet been constructed due to procedural problems. They are the worker accommodation in the expanded Tan Tao Industrial Park with nearly 1,600 apartments, worker accommodation at Pouyuen Vietnam Company with an area of more than 12,600 meters square. Once, these projects are soon completed, they will partially solve the need for affordable housing for individuals and families with low income.
Thickly populated outlying district Binh Chanh has seen big social housing demand among low-income earners. According to a district leader, the administration planned to build social housing in the 30-ha resettlement area of Vinh Loc B, but the district is preparing investment procedures.
There are also a number of social housing projects in the district, but they are all in the stage of site clearance and investment preparation, and none of them have been completed yet.
Meanwhile, in Thu Duc City (HCMC), a number of housing projects have been built and soon put into use. According to Chairman of Thu Duc City People's Committee Hoang Tung, the locality has started construction of a social housing project comprising 726 apartments in Long Truong Ward in an area of 1.43ha.
The project of social housing for workers in an area of more than 20,900 meters square with more than 1,000 apartments near Cat Lai Industrial Park in Thanh My Loi Ward has also started. In addition, in its submission, the People's Committee of Thu Duc City has asked for a policy to plan three locations for workers' accommodation in the High-Tech Park of Ho Chi Minh City in an area of about 90 hectares to provide the accommodation for more than 80,000 employees. Administrations in Thu Duc City also continued to coordinate with industrial zones reviewing empty land plots in the district for building social housing for workers.
Similarly, the People's Committee in District 7 also proposed the city authorities approve nine land plots to build social housing and housing for workers and employees.
In particular, Tan Thuan TTC Company proposed to cooperate with the Management Board of Ho Chi Minh City Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority (HEPZA) and the People's Committee of District 7 for the investment and construction of worker accommodation in Tan Thuan EPZ. The accommodation will be built on an area of 26,300 meters square including Dormitory 1, Dormitory 2, and Dormitory 3. Up to now, Dormitory 3 comprising 510 apartments was built on the land 15,000-meter square area. In the two remaining 2 areas, Tan Thuan Company is calling for investors to build accommodation, but there have been some hiccups along the way; therefore, the company is asking the city authorities to help remove them.
According to the statistics of the Department of Construction of Ho Chi Minh City in 2020, accommodation for workers and employees at enterprises in export processing zones, industrial zones, high-tech zones, industrial clusters, and enterprises in the city has not yet met 17 percent of demand.
Thus, more than 83 percent of employees have to live in substandard tenements outside the industrial zone. In 2020, the Ho Chi Minh City Labor Confederation’s survey has shown that about 1.3 million workers in the city need affordable housing.
Currently, the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City has a plan to develop housing in the city from 2021 to 2025. It is expected to increase at least 50-million meters square of residential floor space. Particularly in 2022, social housing in Ho Chi Minh City will increase by 46,300 meters square of construction floor with an investment of VND698 billion.

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