Apartment buildings in the Viet Hung social housing urban area in Hanoi. (Photo: VNA)

The Ministry of Construction has recently asked local authorities nationwide to quicken the building of social housing, in a bid to comply with the national housing development strategy.

Among the requests was to simplify administrative procedures in determining which borrowers were eligible for preferential loans from the Government's 30 trillion VND (1.33 billion USD) support package for the realty market.

In addition, coordination with the State Bank of Vietnam and credit institutions was needed to tighten inspections to prevent abuses during the implementation of the preferential loan package.

Further, the measures seek to guarantee that the assistance package helps those people it was intended for, as well as developers, and to speed its disbursement, according to the ministry.

Statistics from the Ministry's Housing and Real Estate Market Management Department indicate that, as of the end of July, only one-third of the support package had been disbursed, some two years after having been implemented.

Involved commercial banks committed to loaning more than 17 trillion VND (755.55 million USD) from the support package, as of July 30, to 24,150 households and 43 developers, with more than 10 trillion VND (444.44 million USD) having been disbursed.

In order to support developers of social housing projects, the construction ministry said administrative reforms must be improved to create advantageous conditions for developers in converting commercial housing projects into social housing projects.

Regarding converted projects that have already been approved, construction must be quickened to prevent wastes of land and financial resources, the ministry advised, adding that official approval for projects seen as lagging would be revoked.

The ministry also urged developers to complete legal documents for social housing projects to allow early granting of home ownership certificates to buyers.

To date, the construction of 102 social housing projects were completed, while 150 others are underway, throughout the country.

Minister of Construction Trinh Dinh Dung, on a television programme broadcast last month, said low-income housing projects still lagged far behind demand due to the lack of funds and incentives.

The country needs an estimated 200,000 apartments for low-income earners by 2020, adding to the 700,000 units built during the 2012-15 period.-VNA