The Ministry of Construction's Housing for the Poor Project committee reported on April 20 that 339,805 houses had been newly built or renovated since the programme began in 2008.

The number accounts for 66 percent of the targeted number of houses to be built for the poor by 2012. Seven provinces covered by the scheme are Hai Phong, Hung Yen, Hai Duong, Thai Binh, Nam Dinh, Ha Nam and Bac Giang.

Speaking at a conference to review the project's progress on April 20 in Hung Yen, Deputy Minister Nguyen Tran Nam said the newly built houses were of good quality and in keeping with local architecture.

The committee reported that 4,000 houses had been built or refurbished in Thai Binh province alone. Meanwhile, 3,000 houses have been built or refurbished in Bac Giang and Nam Dinh provinces.

The committee plans to build or repair 200,000 houses for the poor this year at a total cost of 1.47 trillion VND (70 million USD). /.