Securing a Home for All: Local Governments Prioritize Land for Social Housing

As of now, the average housing area per person in Vietnam stands at 26.3 square meters. To meet the housing needs of its citizens, the government has set an ambitious target of completing 130,000 social housing units nationwide by the end of 2024. However, this target presents a significant challenge and seems unlikely to be achieved within this year.

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Social housing complexes are built near industrial parks for the convenience of residents’ daily activities and commuting. Photo: Tuan Anh/VNA

At the conference to review the first six months and deploy tasks for the last six months of 2024 of the Ministry of Construction, held on July 10, 2024, in a combination of online and in-person formats, Mr. Dau Minh Thanh, Chief of Office of the Ministry of Construction, shared that, according to reports from local authorities, from 2021 up to now, there have been 503 social housing projects deployed nationwide with a scale of 418,200 units. Of these, 75 projects with 39,884 units have been completed; 128 projects equivalent to 15,379 units have been started, and 300 projects with about 262,937 units have been approved in principle for investment.

Thus, based on the number of completed units compared to the target assigned by the Government, the goal for social housing is still far from being achieved. In the face of this reality, the Ministry of Construction has coordinated with central agencies to submit to the Politburo for issuance of Directive No. 34-CT/TW dated May 24, 2024, on strengthening the Party’s leadership in developing social housing in the new situation.

Currently, the Ministry of Construction has completed the plan for the Prime Minister to issue a plan to implement Directive No. 34. At the same time, the Ministry of Construction continues to implement a number of tasks to realize Resolution No. 11/NQ-CP dated January 30, 2022, on the Program for Recovery and Sustainable Development, and deploy Resolution No. 43/2022/QH15 of the National Assembly on fiscal and monetary policies to support this Program, and Resolution No. 33/NQ-CP dated March 11, 2023, of the Government on solutions to remove obstacles and promote the safe, healthy, and sustainable development of the real estate market.

One of the key tasks of the Ministry of Construction in the last two quarters of 2024 is to focus on urging localities to implement the Project “Investing in building at least 1 million social housing units for low-income people and industrial park workers for the period of 2021-2030”. Along with this, the Ministry continues to perform the task of the Prime Minister’s Working Group on reviewing, urging, and guiding the removal of difficulties and obstacles in the implementation of real estate projects for localities and enterprises.

At the same time, the Ministry of Construction will proactively propose solutions to remove difficulties, rebalance supply and demand, and adjust the product structure of the real estate market, increasing the supply, especially the supply of social housing and housing for people with middle and low incomes; regularly monitor the real estate market situation, strengthen information forecasting, and promptly take response measures when the market fluctuates abnormally, and promptly handle arising issues.

Updating the progress of the disbursement of the VND 120,000 billion credit package with preferential interest rates according to Resolution No. 33/NQ-CP, the Ministry of Construction said that, besides the four state-owned commercial banks (Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam – BIDV, Vietnam Industry and Trade Joint Stock Commercial Bank – Vietinbank, Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development – Agribank, and Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade – Vietcombank), Tien Phong Bank (TPBank) and Vietnam Prosperity Joint-Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank) have registered to participate in the program with an amount of VND 5,000 billion each.

Through a summary, up to now, only 32/63 Provincial People’s Committees have sent documents or announced on the Provincial Electronic Information Portal about the list of projects participating in the Program with 73 projects. Some localities have announced many projects, such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Bac Ninh, with 6 projects each; Binh Dinh with 5 projects, etc. Commercial banks have disbursed VND 1,234 billion.

Given the inefficiency in the disbursement of the preferential credit package, Mr. Hoang Hai, Director of the Department of Housing and Real Estate Market Management, said that on April 23, 2024, the Ministry of Construction continued to issue Document No. 1699/BXD-QLN to guide the determination of the list of projects, subjects, conditions, and criteria for preferential loans for social housing development, workers’ housing, and renovation and construction of apartment buildings (replacing Document No. 1551/BXD-QLN dated April 20, 2023, of the Ministry of Construction).

Accordingly, the condition for borrowing of social housing project investors is only that they must be approved in principle for investment by competent authorities in accordance with the law on investment and the law on housing; and must be selected as project investors according to the law on housing and must have been granted land or have the right to use land in accordance with the law on land.

Thus, the conditions on site clearance and construction permits have been removed. After being announced on the list, project investors who meet the conditions prescribed by the law on credit and agree with the banks will be able to borrow capital – Mr. Hoang Hai informed.

Director Hoang Hai appreciated that many localities have done well in allocating land funds for social housing development. The country has planned more than 10,000 ha of land for social housing. Thus, compared to the report in 2020 of 3,359 ha, the area of land for social housing development has increased by 6,641 ha. Typically, Dong Nai province allocated 1,064 ha for social housing development, Ho Chi Minh City 609 ha, Quang Ninh 704 ha, Hai Phong 837 ha, etc.

Regarding the arrangement of land funds for social housing development, Mr. Nguyen Trong Ky Anh, Director of the Department of Planning and Architecture of Hanoi, said that the Department of Planning and Architecture has reported to the Hanoi People’s Committee proposing nine land plots for concentrated social housing development with a scale of about 600 ha in the districts of Chuong My, Quoc Oai, Ha Dong, Thanh Tri, Thuong Tin, Dan Phuong, Dong Anh, Gia Lam, and Me Linh.

Currently, the Department of Planning and Architecture is continuing to coordinate with local departments and sectors to review and consolidate information about these nine land plots and supplement about five to six land plots with a scale of about 1,000-1,500 ha for research and use.

The introduction of land funds for social housing development is a solid basis for Hanoi to complete the target of social housing allocation assigned by the Prime Minister in Decision 338 for the period of 2021-2030 and the following years, serving the housing needs of people belonging to the 12 subjects of the housing policy under the Law on Housing, contributing to stabilizing the real estate market and the local economy.

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