More than 1.2 million homes under social housing projects to be built by 2030
Major enterprises and groups in Viet Nam have committed to build more than 1.2 million houses under social housing projects by 2030.
The pledge was made during a conference chaired by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on Monday to discuss measures to expand social housing facilities for workers and low-income earners.
The move is expected to solve the housing demand of nearly 10 million people nationwide.
Speaking at the conference, PM Chinh said that once enterprises registered to invest in the 1.2 million apartments, they must follow through on the promise.
Chinh assigned the Ministry of Construction to assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with other ministries, agencies and localities in removing obstacles, amending and completing regulations to effectively implement and promote the development of social housing, particularly housing for workers in industrial parks.
At the beginning of the conference, PM Chinh underlined that the Party and State had designed various housing policies in the hope of better caring for workers and low-income earners.
Currently, 7.8 million sq.m of social houses was under construction, he noted, but the figure had yet to meet the goal and it had satisfied only part of people’s demands.
The requirement for more houses for workers and low-income earners was urgent, he stressed.
When concluding the conference, he emphasised major perspectives and orientations in developing social housing and housing projects for workers.
"The development of social housing and housing for workers is one of the important parts of the socio-economic development policy. Developing social housing for low-income people and workers is the responsibility and obligation of the whole political system, state management bodies, businesses and the people," Chinh said.
The State encouraged all economic sectors to develop social housing, housing for workers, houses for low-income people and disadvantaged people according to the market mechanism, Chinh said.
The Government had housing support policies for urban low-income earners and industrial park workers, Chinh said, adding that the move aimed to contribute to political stability and ensure social security.
Chinh asked localities and agencies to develop social housing projects and housing for workers in line with the development of the residential real estate market, in accordance with their local housing development programmes and plans for a specific period.
Ministries, agencies and chairpeople of People's Committees of provinces and cities must make great efforts and drastic actions to promote social housing.
In parallel with the development of social housing, it would be also necessary to develop and complete regulations on rental houses, Chinh said.
The PM also called for improved mechanisms and policies so that foreign investors could participate more actively and effectively in the development of social housing for workers.
A total of 301 social housing projects have been completed in urban areas, providing about 156,000 houses with a total area of more than 7.79 million sq.m. Another 401 projects have been implemented, expected to provide about 455,000 houses with a total area of about 22.718 million sq.m.
Minister of Construction Nguyen Thanh Nghi said that the development of social housing had shortcomings and difficulties, particularly those related to the investment, construction, purchase and sale procedures, housing prices, preferential policies for investors, difficulties in identifying those eligible to buy, rent or lease-purchase social housing.
Other obstacles are related to funding allocation and the improper attention of authorities and employers to social housing development.
Proposing solutions to promote the development of social housing and housing for workers, Nghi said that it was necessary to continue studying and amending the Housing Law 2014 in sync with the Land Law (amended), the Law on Bidding (amended), and the Tax Law.
Specific regulations were needed to identify eligible people, requirements, planning and land fund for social housing, selection of investors and incentives for them.
"Separate policies for housing for workers are also needed to have tailored incentives to facilitate the development of kinds of accommodation for workers in industrial zones," Nghi said.
The Ministry of Construction would develop and submit to the Prime Minister a proposal on the project of building a million apartments for low-income earners and workers in industrial zones by 2030, Nghi said.
The minister would also complete a draft of the amended Housing Law (amended) so that the Government could submit it to the National Assembly for consideration at the 6th session of the 15th National Assembly.
The ministry would also co-ordinate with the State Bank of Viet Nam to direct, guide and coordinate with localities to review and publish the list of investors of social housing projects, housing projects for workers eligible to get preferential loans under the 2 per cent interest rate support package from the commercial banking system according to Resolution 11/NQ-CP dated January 30 of the Government.
Nghi said that the ministry would continue urging localities to review and supplement planning, allocate land fund for the development of social housing in urban areas, housing for workers in accordance with law; strictly comply with the regulation of setting aside 20 per cent of the land fund for social housing in all housing/urban area projects.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of Vinhomes Pham Thieu Hoa said that the group planned to build 500,000 affordable houses in the next five years.
He said that in case enterprises had available land or purchased land for a social housing project, the project contractors should be assigned instead of opening a bid to select a contractor.
He said that now, it took at least 600 days for a social housing project to be approved.
He suggested steps be taken at the same time. Authorities should approve and announce a project within 90 -120 days so that enterprises could submit applications. Simultaneously, the Government carries out zoning and planning in the spirit of shortening administrative procedures, as well as putting in place mechanisms and policies to support and incentivise investors to build social houses.
Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Van Hoi said that the target to have an additional 450,000 social houses by 2025 and one million social houses by 2030 needs to be reconsidered, because now, under the housing rent support programme in the Government's Resolution No.11/NQ-CP, the number of eligible workers totalled 3.4 million.
"If taken into account families of workers, the area required for social housing is 34 million sq.m, not to mention the need for social housing for millions of poor households and other low-income people," he said.
Particularly in HCM City, when inspecting COVID-19 prevention and control measures, Government leaders and local authorities found that 780,000 apartments for rent did not meet standards.
"The social housing development plan by the Ministry of Construction is not detailed enough and lacks specific priority targets for particular groups like workers in industrial parks, export processing zones and low-income households, poor households, and households with members contributing to the national revolution," Hoi said.
"It's urgent to implement solutions to further provide housing for 3 million workers in more than 300 industrial parks and export processing zones. Authorities arrange land while factories, industrial parks, and export processing zones are responsible for investing to solve the problem. The Government should offer financial support if needed, for example, increasing loans for construction and social housing development through Viet Nam Bank for Social Policies. Currently, the bank has lent to 1 million households, but the demand is much higher," Hoi said.