A deteriorating old tenement on Vo Van Kiet street in HCM City’s District 1 (Photo: Zing.vn)
 
HCM City (VNS/VNA) - Three years after a five-year plan to renovate half of the 476 old tenements was announced by Ho Chi Minh City’s authorities, only a fraction of them have been refurbished or rebuilt, causing suffering to many people living in them.

According to the city's Department of Construction, last month 96 households in an old apartment block at 155 – 157 Bui Vien street were told to find new accommodations after an inspection had found it could collapse at any time.

But many of the households have yet to move, saying investors have yet to be identified for the renovation.

Most families living in the tenement support the plan for renovation, but are wary after knowing that people who moved out of other similar apartments are still awaiting completion of the renovation work after more than two years.

Le Duy Manh, who owns an apartment at the Bui Vien Tenement, said authorities should clearly inform tenants about the renovation schedule and when they could return to their homes.

Huynh Tam, another resident, was quoted by Nguoi Lao Dong (The Labourer) newspaper as saying she would not leave the place for fear the renovation would take “a century”.

All 10 households living in the Truc Giang Tenement in district 4 are willing to move but claimed they cannot afford it.

Residents of Nguyen Thien Thuat Tenement in district 3 interviewed by the newspaper said they received a notice to move out to make way for renovation 10 years ago.

But recently the district’s People’s Committee said it is still looking for investors to renovate the Bui Vien Tenement.

Pham Thi Bach, who lives in the Ngo Gia Tu Tenement in district 10, said to knock down the old tenement for reconstruction, authorities must get every household on board.

But people living on the ground floor are reluctant to move because their apartments double up as shops, she said.

Le Thi Thu Nga, Deputy Chairwoman of the District 10 People’s Committee, said 25 out of 40 old and deteriorating tenements have been renovated to ensure occupants’ safety.

Relevant agencies have speeded up relocation of tenants and demolition of old tenements, but finding investors to rebuild them is harder, she said.

Le Hoa Binh, director of the city's Department of Construction, said the department has identified 474 old tenements which require renovation, but so far only 113 have been taken up for work while 35 others would be done in the second half of this year.

But it is impossible to get all households living in them to agree, he said.

Binh said instead of seeking investors and making them negotiate with tenants, authorities could cancel the occupants’ land use rights, pay them compensation and take over the lands.

This method has been used by the District 7 People’s Committee at two decrepit tenements, he said.-VNS/VNA