Vietnam mulls $19.7 bln housing plan

TN News

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Vietnam plans to spend VND410 trillion (US$19.7 billion) to develop housing projects from 2015 to 2020.

The plan would add 60 million square meters of new residential space.

According to a new plan by the Construction Ministry, funding for the projects will come from both the state budget and other economic sectors. A large part of the funds would be used to develop social housing projects for low-income earners and workers.

The ministry also envisions upgrading old apartment buildings around the country and helping poor families renovate their homes.

The goal is to expand the projected per capita housing space from 21.5 square meters in 2015 and to 25 square meters in 2020, the ministry said.

By 2030, the country will no longer face housing shortages. Instead, it will only need to focus on improving the quality of existing homes, the ministry said.

Deputy Construction Minister Nguyen Tran Nam said the ministry is awaiting responses from businesses and the public. The plan will be revised before it is submitted to the government for approval.

Some real estate developers are skeptical about the poposal.

Nguyen Van Duc, deputy director of Ho Chi Minh City-based Dat Lanh Real Estate Company, said expectations should not be set too high or they may lead to mistakes in forecasting and planning.

Duc said that, even though the current per capita housing space is nominally 19.2 square meters, it does not say much about the reality for many in Vietnam.

In Ho Chi Minh City some survive with as little as two square meters.

Duc said the goal of building 600,000 units of public housing by 2020 is unrealistic, given that there have been less than 1,000 apartments built, so far, under the governmenr's two-year old social housing program.

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