A building to accomodate workers of a Chinese company in northern Bac Ninh province. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)- Low-income families have inferior housing, and new policies are needed to deal with the issue, heard a conference in Hanoi on November 5.

According to the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) , only 20 percent of workers have proper accommodation. Some 80 percent of workers in industrial zones are exposed to makeshift shelters, where normally two or three people share a square metre. These workers also lack access to recreational activities.

Vu Hong Quang, deputy head of the VGCL 's policy and law department, said more than 110 social housing projects for workers were registered from 2010 – 2015 with an aim of accommodating 960,000 people. However, very few of them were completed.

Construction in industrial parks focused on production facilities, while making light of other social infrastructure such as houses, schools and entertainment centres, he noted.

Regarding the issue, State policies have been developed and implemented, but many need amendments to meet current demands.

Tran Ngoc Hung, chairman of the Vietnam Federation of Civil Engineering Association, pointed to the fact that construction hurdles facing social housing projects included licencing differences, which often take time and make investors lose their interest. Thus, the rate of corporation-funded social housing projects remains low.

Demand for affordable accommodation is expected to reach one million apartments in 2020. Currently, only 10,000 apartments are added to the market each year.

To change the status quo, Hung proposed additional assistance in terms of capital and land, as well as preferential policies targeting private investors.

Meanwhile, developing low-priced apartments for rent and purchase through instalments should be considered a priority, he said.

Concerning pensions provided by families and individuals, which account for up to 80 percent of workers’ accommodation in many cities, a set of criteria on area, amenities, safety prices and others should be established.

Participating officials recommended the Government promulgate regulations stipulating that business owners must take responsibility for assisting their employees in acquiring proper housing.-VNA