Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the meeting (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked authorised agencies to fine-tune mechanisms and policies to attract more resources to social housing development, especially for poor people, war invalids and workers.

Chairing a meeting with representatives from relevant Ministries and localities nationwide on December 7 in Hanoi, the PM urged all localities to soon devise specific policies on social housing development, stressing that the work is the responsibility of the State, the society and people. 

Successful social housing development models should be multiplied across the country, he noted.

He particularly emphasised the need to develop low-cost housing for workers – an urgent problem today, and shared the Government’s worry about the issue when 1.5 million workers, especially those working in industrial parks (IPs), are in need of housing. 

He said besides investment from the State budget, owners of IPs are also responsible for building houses for their workers.

The PM assigned the Ministry of Construction to issue legal documents to perfect a framework for social housing development, ensuring favourable procedures. 

The Ministry of Finance and the State Bank were requested to continue studying measures relating to credit, tax and interest subsidy to fully tap medium-and long-term resources from the community, with the aim of reducing investment from the State budget for the work. 

The PM also underlined the necessity to improve the quality of social housing and ensuring essential infrastructure for transport, health, education and culture. 

He also agreed on the proposal of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) to effectively implement a pilot project on building cultural and sport facilities in IPs, affirming that the State will support the VGCL in carrying out the project. 

According to Minister of Construction Pham Hong Ha, a total of 3.7 million sq.m of social housing in urban areas and IPs have been put into use so far, benefiting nearly 500,000 low-income earners and workers. 

However, only 179 social housing projects (71,150 apartments) in urban areas and IPs have been implemented, fulfilling only 28 percent of the target set for 2020. 

Chairman of the Vietnam Real Estate Association Nguyen Tran Nam said the land planning - the decisive factor in the work has yet to be on right track, expressing his hope that the Government will consider providing another credit package to support low-income earners to buy houses. 

According to statistics from the VGCL, about 2.8 million people are working in IPs and export processing zones, with 1.7 million of them in need of housing, while the number of houses at present meet only 8-10 percent. 

In his speech, Deputy PM Trin Dinh Dung stressed the need to consider the building of social housing an investment channel in order to encourage enterprises’ further engagement.  He asked localities to outline yearly and medium-term plans to develop social housing on the basis of examining the affordability of labourers. 

In his conclusion, PM Phuc said the Government will issue a Directive on the development of social housing after the meeting.-VNA