The municipal Department of Construction has announced that 3.5 million square metres of housing will be built in Hanoi by the end of this year.

The housing will be aimed at students, industrial zone workers and low-income earners under the guidance of the Government and municipal authorities.

"With the present population, Hanoi lacks 5.5 million square metres of housing, which equals more than 11,000 flats," said Nguyen The Hung, deputy director of the city's Department of Construction.

Existing housing projects for workers in Dong Anh district's Kim Chung and Nguyen Khe communes, students in Thanh Tri district's Phap Van and Tu Hiep communes and low-income earners in the Sai Dong residential quarter in Gia Lam district will also be completed.

The department will submit a 10-year plan to municipal authorities for approval in which details of how investors can rebuild dilapidated parts of the city will be included.

In the first three months of this year, the department completed 14 floors of the 17-floor My Dinh 2 student quarter, and has completed the Hoang Van Thu and Bac Linh Dam resident quarters, which span more than 10 hectares.

Last year the department built 2.5 million square metres of housing.

The municipal Party Committee Secretary Pham Quang Nghi has inspected the progress of the housing projects for low-income earners and students and worked with Ha Dong authorities and the projects' investors.

Affirming the city's policy to create favourable conditions for investors and to gradually solve the housing shortage, he called on authorities, agencies, and investors not to let anyone seek profit from the policy.

Any individuals and organisations profiting by buying and reselling houses for low-income earners will be punished, he said.

The municipal People's Committee will ensure there are sufficient funds to continue building and will choose responsible and qualified investors, he said.

There are 11 housing projects for low-income earners under construction at present in the city with a total area of 21 hectares. About 11,174 apartments will be built for 41,645 people.

The Party Committee Secretary on the same day inspected the progress of a housing complex for students in My Dinh II urban area in Tu Liem district, which is expected to accommodate nearly 7,400 students./.