Government’s credit package would help more people buy their own homes, Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Tran Nam told the newspaper Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times).

*What will the Ministry of Construction do to build more affordable houses so more people can own their own homes?

Under Decree 61/NQ-CP, the government agreed to extend the support programme for low-income people, particularly in urban areas, to buy, build or rehabilitate houses from 10 to 15 years.

Hopefully with access to the government's low-interest loans, more low-income people will be able to buy houses of their own. This will spur real estate development.

To implement the decree, the Ministry of Construction worked with the State Bank to enable people to get loans faster. Our ministry has instructed authorities to review real estate projects in their localities, simplify investment procedures for building affordable housing and switch commercial real estate projects to affordable housing projects. These are just some of the measures our ministry has undertaken to enable more people to access the government's credit package of 30.38 trillion VND (1.43 billion USD) to buy homes of their own.

*However, some experts suggest that the government's package should focus on housing development companies so that they will build more affordable housing. What's your position on this?

The 1.43 billion USD package is for both real estate developers and homebuyers; 70 percent of the sum will go to loans for homebuyers and the remainder will be lent to developers.

The high-end apartment and villa market faces the problem of high inventory. However, small and medium-sized apartments are in short supply. That's why in the immediate future, the government's package will focus on supporting housing companies and low-income people to balance supply and demand.

In Vietnam , average income per capita is about 1,500 USD per annum and about up to 80 percent of the population is in the low or medium income bracket. As a result, they can only afford apartments costing less than 1 billion VND (47,500 USD). People with more than 2 billion VND can buy commercial houses.

*Why did the Ministry of Construction ask the government to increase and extend the support package?

About 50 percent of people living in Hanoi‘s urban areas are workers or public employees. How can they save money from their salaries to buy or build houses? That's why they need support from the government. Our National Housing Development Strategy by 2020 and the Vision toward 2030 says that housing development is the responsibility of the State, the society and the people. From this point of view, the government has asked the banking institutions in Vietnam to provide loans with low interest rates and reasonable lending terms to housing developers and low-income people in urban areas. Decree 61 has won high appreciation from people.-VNA