Recently, the Ministry of Construction has a document licensing a real estate business in HCM City to build commercial apartments of 25 sqm, causing many people to worry about the situation of “match- box” apartment, “slums on high”.
Specifically, on April 26, the Ministry of Construction has written permission to Dat Lanh Real Estate Co., Ltd (Dat Lanh Company) to build a 25sqm apartment in Ho Chi Minh City.
The ministry said that the 2005 Housing Code Law provided that commercial housing should not be less than 45sqm. But in the process of implementation, many localities and businesses have proposed to build the type of housing is less than 45sqm.
The Housing Act of 2014 has removed the minimum floor area of 45sqm for commercial condominiums, which are generally limited to self-contained apartments, floor’s standard and construction standards.
At the end of March, Dat Lanh Company proposes to build apartments of 20-30sqm. Today, the Ministry of Construction is preparing to issue a national technical standard for condominiums. During the waiting period, commercial apartments may apply temporary minimum standard of area which is not less than 25sqm but must ensure the design, construction of closed apartment type.
The leaders of the Ministry of Construction explained that the permission to build commercial apartments of not less than 25sqm is in accordance with the National Technical Regulation on the apartment which will be issued. There are concerns about waste in the inner city, the core of the city, put pressure on social infrastructure… also based on population planning criteria, local authorities will calculate whether or not to allow.
However, according to a planning expert, the permission to build a 25sqm apartment could create slums in the future as this type of house which is only suitable for renting. For households, this area is too small. But due to ineligibility, many households are likely to still buy to live and from that will create slums.
Mr. Nguyen Chi Dung, deputy director of the Hanoi Department of Construction, said that despite the permission to build commercial apartments of 25sqm, but Hanoi will not widespread licensing but also based on population density standards of each region.
“Accordingly, areas with high population density are difficult to permit to build 25sqm apartments. With the current situation in Hanoi city, apartments of 25sqm can only be built off Ring Road 3, even the amount depends on the area. In the inner city, the core zone is difficult to build a small apartment because of the high population density”, Mr. Dung said.
Mr. Pham Si Liem, Vice President of Vietnam Construction Association, is concerned about the need to build low-standard urban areas, houses for the poor, the income is low, the infrastructure needs to pay more attention due to the concentration of population will be high. At the same time, the management of these areas is always tidy, clean and not dirty, becoming slums is a difficult problem, need to study the model. In addition, the architecture of the small apartment will have to study, propose to be reasonable, ensure closed, durability. If not done well, 25sqm apartment will leave consequences which are difficult for society later.
Avoid the core zone of the city
Mr. Le Hoang Chau, chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association (HoREA), said that each of them proposed the Ministry of Construction to make a small apartment of 25sqm in outskirt and suburban areas. “Although the Ministry of Construction” give the green light “for commercial apartments of 25sqm, but absolutely not built in the central area, the core of the city such as Hoan Kiem District, Ba Dinh District … ( Ha Noi), or District 1, District 3 … (Ho Chi Minh City) due to the high population density there. It is necessary to build low-standard urban areas in the city’s suburbs, satellite towns, industrial zones, etc. with the form of social houses and cheap commercial houses. There, it is possible to build apartment buildings with structures, besides the large apartments intermingled with 25 m2 apartments for single people, low income, not all are small area”, Mr. Chau said.
According to President HoREA, cheap commercial apartment buildings should not be built too high, only under 15 floors, in the suburbs for sale price of $ 435 – 520 / sqm, the total value of apartments from $10,000 – $13,000 for low-income people to reach. Besides, diversified forms of sale, lease, hire, purchase can be applied depending on the market demand. Mr. Chau also said that in Binh Chanh district, Cu Chi district, Hoc Mon district… (Ho Chi Minh City) or Hoang Mai district, Tu Liem district, Thanh Tri district…The 25sqm apartment will be well-suited to solve the housing demands of many people without pressure on the city’s core zone infrastructure.
Concerned with the view not to make a small apartment in the city center, some experts say that when developing low-cost commercial apartments, suburban areas cannot ignore the development of health, education, markets, banking … It is even necessary to put it into binding standards to avoid pressure on the core of the city. Mr. Nguyen Manh Ha, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Association of Real Estate (VNREA) said that: The local management according to the planning, standards, regulations … are not allowed to build as many as 25sqm apartments but will be controlled by the concentration of population. On the other hand, the market will also regulate the 25sqm apartment, not to build up to sell. Even the Ministry of Construction should specify the number of apartments of 25sqm in a certain area and the number of people who are staying in this small apartment. But the managing how many people in an apartment are not easy should be well calculated.
However, many real estate experts are of the same opinion, the current price is expensive due to excessive land use fees, unreasonable clearance ground costs, capital costs, and high-interest rates. Therefore, for the people to access housing easily, the state should have policies to lower house prices rather than basing on narrowed apartment.
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