Prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday called on ministries and relevant agencies to speed up the progress of a national programme to help poor households access stable housing.
Speaking at a national meeting to review the programme, Dung said housing was among residents’ most critical needs and the government in recent years had implemented many support programmes and social protection policies to help the poor access stable housing.
Since 2008, the programme has helped at least two million people nationwide access stable housing, according to minister of Construction Trinh Dinh Dung, deputy head of the committee.
According to statistics, about 540,000 households were categorised as in need of housing support in 2009.
In four years, the programme was able to support 94 per cent of those households, including 224,000 ethnic people, with funding of around VND12 trillion (US$569 million).
The houses range from 28-32 sq.m to 50-60 sq.m, and are priced at VND25-28 million ($1,190-$1,333) to VND50-60 million ($2,380-$2,900) each.
The Ministry of Construction is working with other sectors and relevant agencies to build a better mechanism and support policies to develop social housing in urban areas and encourage private investment, along with focusing on low-income housing for rural residents.
At the meeting, representatives from different provinces said they had finished recounting the number of poor and nearly-poor households according to new criteria.
Starting in 2011, poor households in rural areas are considered those with an average monthly income below VND400,000 ($US20), and VND500,000 ($25) for urban areas. Near-poor households in rural areas earn an average of VND401,000-520,000 ($20-$26) per month, and VND501,000-600,000 ($25-$30) per month for those in urban areas.
They asked the Construction Ministry to consult with the government and issue a national project to support poor households under the new criteria for 2012-2015, and noted that the ministry should have special housing requirements for those built in mountainous and far-flung areas.
In his speech, the PM also noted that in the past 10 years, housing area had expanded from 9.68 square metres on average per capita in 1999 to the current level of 19 square metres.
The PM also stressed that considering limited resources, ministries and all sectors must build appropriate mechanisms that applied to specific groups that the programme aimed to help.
In addition, the Ministry of Construction has been instructed to complete a plan to help poor people access housing that applies the new criteria for submission to the government and possible implementation by the beginning of 2013.