Well-off people who pretend to be poor so that they can buy or rent a low-income apartment will have to surrender the dwelling and pay stiff fines if they are caught.

This was one of solutions advanced by the Hanoi People's Committee to control any violations by builders and residents as had happened in the past.

Those who take advantage of their special positions to sell, buy or rent homes also face criminal proceedings.

Those who defy the regulations will be forbidden from being involved in real-estate projects for two years.

These details were revealed at a meeting of 13 investors and officials from the city's districts after the first sales of low-income apartments in Ngo Thi Nham street in Ha Dong district.

Nguyen Quoc Tuan, deputy director of the municipal Construction Department, said people were responsible for any information they declared.

In the past it had been found that, in reality, some people said they lived in one place but had their permanent household registered at another. He said this created problems for authorities trying to clarify the situation.

He said some people had several houses, but registered their addresses at relatives' homes.

Nguyen Van Da, deputy director of Vinaconex, Xuan Mai Concrete and Construction Joint Stock Company which has launched two low-income housing projects of Ngo Thi Nham and Kien Hung areas, said most applications for the apartments were returned due to this type of "mistake."

"Authorities in districts and wards have been afraid of confirming the information as they feared they could become responsible for any mistakes, " Da said, adding .
the People's Committee has asked district authorities to take full responsibility for confirming applications.

He said they should clarify those who really had no homes or those occupying an average area of less than 5sq.m per person – the only people who should qualify for low-income urban houses.

Nguyen Quoc Tuan said the new apartments will only be sold to those who lived in inner districts.

He also said prices will be calculated to ensure benefits to both those building the apartments and buyers.

However, he said investors have already been given land-use exemptions and preferential interest rates. Selling prices, therefore could be set by adding 10 percent to the building cost.

Specialists said the price should be 10 million VND (465 USD) per square metre.

Da said his company will announce the official price for home in the Kien Hung project by the end of next month./.