Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked relevant ministries and sectors to come up with suitable mechanisms and policies for specific groups of people that need State assistance under the current housing development strategy.

At a national conference to review the housing assistance programme for the poor held in the northern province of Bac Ninh on July 19, PM Dung emphasised the necessity for all ministries, sectors and localities to put into action housing projects for people with low-incomes as well as students and workers in industrial and export processing zones.

Minister of Construction Trinh Dinh Dung, who is also Deputy Head of the Central Steering Committee for Housing Policy and the Real Estate Market, said this is the most effective housing assistance programme since the country started its renewal process more than 20 years ago.

The programme has helped more than 507,140 households in 62 of the regions poorest districts to access accommodation. Almost half of these 224,000 are Khmer ethnic people.

After three years, nine provinces have reached their target two years ahead of schedule, while most other localities are one year ahead. The central province of Thanh Hoa and the southern provinces of Tra Vinh and Soc Trang, have also recorded large numbers of beneficiaries being housed.

The programme has so far raised more than 12.6 trillion VND from central and local budgets and the Social Policy Bank amongst others. A total of 11.9 trillion VND has already been disbursed and the remaining capital will be used later this year.

The local authorities say that under the new criteria for 2012 to 2015, they have completed their list of poor households that need housing assistance, so the Ministry of Construction can now propose that the Government issues a scheme to assist those households.-VNA