Half-a-million poor families in rural areas will receive housing support under a new proposal which the Ministry of Construction has submitted to the Government for approval.

The proposal, which requires 18.4 trillion VND (1.15 billion USD) in funding, aims to improve the poor's living standards and contribute to sustainable poverty reduction by making the target beneficiaries' homes resistant to storms and floods. It specifies various types of support from the State budget for specific groups of beneficiaries in the second phase of a State policy on housing support for the needy.

The money will be sourced from central and local budgets, preferential loans and contributions from the whole community, including the target beneficiaries.

Under the plan, each beneficiary household will receive cash ranging from 5million VND to 14 million VND (nearly 240-660 USD), depending on the household's specific situation and local conditions, as well as preferential loans for building or upgrading the house.

Target beneficiaries are poor people who are not entitled to other housing support programmes which are being or will be carried out, such as the scheme on building flood-proof residential areas in the Mekong Delta, the resettlement programme for residents living in disaster-prone and poor areas, and the building of flood-proof houses for poor people in the central region.

Figures show that about 510,000 rural households have been facing accommodation difficulties from 2001 to 2015.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the number of poor households in Vietnam has dropped from 22 percent of the total number of households in 2005 to 7.8 percent last year.-VNA