HCMC says no to 20 sqm 'efficiency' apartments

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The Ho Chi Minh City Construction Department has rejected a proposal by a local developer to build 20 square meter apartments, saying it violates housing laws.

Director Nguyen Tan Ben said his department could not approve Dat Lanh Real Estate Company's proposal because Vietnam's Housing Law stipulates that an apartment must have a minimum area of 45 sqm.

Besides, super small apartments are not suitable for the development of the city, Ben told Thanh Nien.

The proposal goes against the official municipal target of improving living standards for residents and increasing per capita housing area in the city to 28.3 sqm in 2020 from the current 25.7 percent, he said.

The rejection was announced after Vietnam's Ministry of Construction had approved the proposal in late May. The ministry had then asked the HCMC administration to provide guidelines for Dat Lanh to develop 20 sqm apartments on a trial basis.

"At a press conference (last week), we affirmed that we do not support the construction of 20-30 sqm apartments because they are not suitable both legally and in terms of the city's development goals," Ben said. "And when they are not suitable, they should not be tried."

Such small apartments would increase population density in certain areas and create pressure on the city's already struggling infrastructure, he said.

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