Door to open to social housing policy

17:24 | 30/06/2011
Current social housing regulations need further revision.

Under existing laws, social housing owners are illegible to sell and rent their houses. A violation was currently unveiled in Hanoi’s Ha Dong district associated with a social housing project for low-paid people.

Accordingly, owner Cao Thi Loan sold her apartment at the residential complex for low-income people which she just bought to buyer Nguyen Thi Thanh Tam to catch in profits of around VND500 million ($24,000). The case was later detected when the buyer repaired the flat.

Hanoi People’s Committee asked developer Vinaconex Xuan Mai Concrete and Construction Joint Stock Company to join efforts with the police and construction bodies to scrutinise the case and take back the flat.

The city’s agencies, however, could not cancel the house purchase contract in light of existing regulations though in the above-said case the violation was apparent. Accordingly, Decree 71/2010/ND-CP dated June 23, 2010 detailing and guiding the implementation of the Housing Law only regulates contract suspension and does not mention contract cancellation.

Besides, Circular 36/2009/TT-BXD dated November 16, 2009 guiding sale, lease and management of low-paid housing and the leasing and purchase contract models enclosed to the circular did not contain any articles about contract cancellations.

After the government made public a series of policies on social housing, former deputy minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dang Hung Vo warned of the negative phenomena which may arise associated with state-subsided low-paid housing projects.

Under current regulations, buyers of social housing projects are labourers from assorted economic sectors satisfying set requirements and actually need accommodations. The ‘sellers’ are construction firm managers and local construction department executives.

To address negative phenomena relevant to social housing projects, Vo suggested increasing transparency in appraising buyer records, enhancing sellers’ accountability and  allowing the community to involve in the appraisal process. 

Reality shows that around two years after the government launched social housing development programmes, over 520 such projects were reportedly registered. However, just over 10 per cent of these projects got off the ground, according to Ministry of Construction’s Department of Housing and Property Market Management head Nguyen Manh Ha despite the fact that developers of housing projects benefit from many incentives such as land rent exemption for social housing areas and corporate income tax exemption in four years since they generate taxable incomes.

By Minh Nhat

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