Friday , June 21 2024

Lawmakers call for incentivizing social housing for lease rather than sale

Building social housing for lease rather than purchase will enable more low-income people to get accommodation and so incentive policies should be geared toward this, lawmakers have said.

Nguyen Van Hien, a legislator and head of the Institute of Legislative Studies, said at a National Assembly session Monday that current social housing policies seem to encourage ownership rather than fulfill people’s right to accommodation.

Most low-income people are blue-collar workers or new graduates who cannot buy social housing despite it being the cheapest kind in the market, he said.

To take advantage of social housing incentives, many people lie about their income or get low-income people to buy on their behalf, making it even more inaccessible to blue-collar workers, he said.

Many property developers are focusing on selling rather than renting social housing to recoup their investment faster, he pointed out.

Nguyen Lam Thanh, deputy head of the National Assembly’s Ethnic Minorities Council, said many countries such as Malaysia and Singapore have been successfully developing social housing for lease.

Developers there often partner with property management companies, which buy the houses and rent them out to low-income people, he said.

Renting is also preferred by young people who migrate to big cities looking for jobs, he said, adding that policies should therefore incentivize social housing development for lease.

A survey by VnExpress and the government’s Private Sector Development Committee in May of 8,300 workers found that saving up enough to buy a social housing unit is one of the biggest challenges for a typical worker.

A worker with an income of VND11 million ($468) a month will have to save VND6 million a month for 20 years to buy a social housing apartment, an unreasonable requirement.

The National Assembly is discussing amendments to the Housing Law and will vote on them in October-November.

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