HCMC – There is a severe shortage of housing projects in HCMC for medium- and low-income earners, experts said at a conference early this month, suggesting that the city should develop low-cost housing projects in new urban areas.
The experts said the real estate market will rebound this year and social housing projects will offer a boost to the market.
They spoke highly of the HCMC government’s plans to develop new urban areas to the east of the city, especially after the establishment of Thu Duc City. The local authorities, researchers and investors need to work together to ensure the sustainable development of new urban areas. Besides, these areas should have sufficient social housing projects for medium- and low-income people.
Data of the HCMC Department of Construction indicated that the city needed up to 80,000 low-cost houses from 2016 to 2020. However, there were only 23 social housing projects with some 17,900 homes in existence during this time.
According to Pham Dang Ho, head of the Housing and Real Estate Market Development Division under the HCMC Construction Department, the major reasons for the city’s short supply of low-cost houses are the shortage of land and complicated legal procedures.
Nguyen Anh Tuan, head of the General Planning Management Division under the HCMC Department of Planning and Architecture, said the districts of Thu Duc, 2 and 9 will be officially merged to become a city called Thu Duc under the jurisdiction of HCMC in early March. The new city will have a financial center connected to the Thu Thiem new urban area, a sports center, a hi-tech production center, an education-training and science research center, an eco-technology center and a new urban area. The development of social housing projects for Thu Duc City and HCMC as a whole should be the priority.
Dr. Pham Hoai Chung from the Institute for Transport Development and Strategies under the Ministry of Transport, said the city’s transport infrastructure remains underdeveloped with overcrowded roads and poor seaport connectivity, while metro line projects have lagged behind schedule. The underdeveloped transport system will hamper the development and connectivity of new urban areas.
Nguyen Xuan Quang, chairman of Nam Long Group, said it’s not always feasible to apply urban development models that have been successful in other countries to HCMC. Quang suggested the city conduct careful research to ensure three factors —sustainability, feasibility and logicality.
Arnon Snapir, member of the American Institute of Architects, said the major challenges in developing urban areas comprise agricultural land preservation and appropriate residential development. He suggested HCMC prevent discrete development, reduce traffic congestion and ensure harmony and balance in developing urban areas. Besides, prices also play a key role in urban area development, he noted.
According to Snapir, a city worth living in should not be expensive. It must create strong connectedness between the citizens and offer diversified services and public amenities. More importantly, there must be high quality jobs offering a good income in new urban areas to attract people to live there.
By Viet Dung