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HCMC’s renovation of old condo buildings makes slow progress
The Saigon Times Daily
Monday,  Aug 13, 2018,12:24 (GMT+7)

HCMC’s renovation of old condo buildings makes slow progress

The Saigon Times Daily

Co Giang apartment blocks in HCMC’s District 1, which are among the old condo buildings waiting for renovation – PHOTO: THANH HOA

HCMC – Faced with the slow progress of attempts to rebuild and renovate old condo buildings, the HCMC government has urged the relevant local departments and districts to expedite work at 15 condo buildings that are severely deteriorating.

As Lao Dong newspaper reported, Condo Building 155-157 Bui Vien in HCMC’s backpacker quarter, built before 1975, provides accommodation for more than 60 households.

The condition of this tenement, with six levels and over 4,000 square meters of floor space, has seriously deteriorated, according to the HCMC Department of Construction’s recent assessment. Therefore, residents need to be relocated urgently.

The local newspaper quoted a resident as saying that her four-member family wants to move out of the small, old tenement but cannot afford it.

At the Ngo Gia Tu and An Quang tenements in District 10, residents have had to live in squalid conditions. Many households said that they wanted to move away but have not managed to settle the issue of compensation. Besides this, since many residents earn a living from food stalls, they find it hard to make money while living in a new area.

HCMC has 474 old condo buildings developed before 1975, including 13 buildings deemed to be unsafe. The local construction department has plans to demolish these buildings for reconstruction.

Of the seven buildings marked for demolition and reconstruction this year, none have been completed.

HCMC has demolished only 32 old condo buildings, where some 4,000 households have lived in the past 10 years. The slow progress has failed to ensure the quality of life of the residents in these buildings and has not met the requirements of the city’s urban renovation program.

According to property firms and experts, most of the old tenements were developed on small land sites and have high numbers of residents, making them unappealing to investors.

In principle, developers, on receiving approval to build or renovate old tenements, must follow the city’s expected timeline for completion. However, many firms do not strictly follow this requirement but make excuses about site clearance and resettlement issues. 

HCMC Vice Chairman Tran Vinh Tuyen said that efforts to resolve problems concerning the renovation of old tenements should not be confined to the projects but should include coordination among the affected districts to make much land available to attract investors.

Meanwhile, Dr. Truong Huy Mai was quoted by Lao Dong as saying that it is necessary to take into account the possibility that some investors winning tenement renovation bids are incapable of completing the projects and are in fact transferring them to other investors for a margin. The city government should also take strong action against firms showing signs of slow progress on projects and should aim to attract capable investors.

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