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City aims for high-quality low-cost housing
Source: VNS - 3/1/2017 10:48:51 AM
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Low-cost housing projects planned by the municipal administration should have the same quality of construction and infrastructure as their commercial counterparts, Đinh La Thăng, Secretary of the HCM City Party’s Committee, has said.

Addressing a conference held on Monday to gather ideas on building economical housing projects in the city, Thăng said low-cost social housing did not mean new slums in the city.

The social housing areas should have healthcare services, markets and schools, he said.

Thăng also emphasised that low-cost housing need not mean building smaller houses. New materials and new technologies should be used to cut costs, he added.

The Party Secretary affirmed that the city will spare no effort in trying to meet all targets on developing houses for workers and other low-income people. It will co-operate with real estate firms and developers and provide them with favourable conditions to develop social housing, Thăng said.

Referring to Bình Dương’s success in building very cheap social housing, Thăng said HCM City would study the neighbouring province’s determination and creativity, but apply it flexibly, based on the city’s own ground realities.

He suggested that greater co-operation between real estate developers and between them and suppliers of building materials would help cut down construction costs.

It was revealed at the conference that the Cement Corporation has pledged to cut down by VNĐ300,000 (US$14) per tonne the price of cement used for low-cost social housing projects in the city.

Three developers also volunteered to work on social housing projects on a non-profit basis.

Lê Hoàng Châu, chairman of the HCM City Real Estate Development Association, said the city might be able to build 30sq.m-apartments for just VNĐ100-200 million ($3,900-8,700), as Bình Dương had done. However, only a minuscule percentage of the population, about 10,000 people, would get them, which is not fair for so many people that need low-cost housing.

Developers at the conference agreed that it was not feasible to build apartments for VNĐ5 million ($220) per square metre.

The representative of one company said the best way would be to build 15-20sq.m apartments for long-term leases of up to 50 years.

“This is the best way to avoid slums,” he said, explaining that “when leasing, the quality of projects are still under the control of developer. People who do not obey regulations will be kicked out.”

He also suggested that the city should only sell 30-35sq.m apartments in 12-15 storied buildings.

Trần Trọng Tuấn, Director of the HCM City Department of Construction, said the city had a high demand for 40-60sq.m apartments priced between VNĐ350 million ($15,300) and VNĐ1 billion ($43,800).

The department would work together with companies to find ways to reduce housing prices. It would also co-operate with other sectors to improve administration procedures, Tuấn said.

A report released at the conference by HCM City Real Estate Association said the city would develop 39 projects with 45,000 condos up to 2020.

About 20 per cent of this will be for lease, 60 per cent will be paid for in installments and 20 per cent will be sold outright.
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