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Jul 30, 2021 / 16:07

Hanoi to assess quality of old apartment buildings

Many apartment buildings in Hanoi are more than 60 years old and pose a threat of collapse.

Hanoi plans to spend VND500 billion (US$21.7 million) in the period of 2021-2025 to assess the quality of more than 1,500 old apartment buildings to ensure safety.

The assessment is a part of the city’s master plan on renovating and relocating residents from old apartment buildings to new developments from now until 2025.

The city's construction department will be responsible for developing specialized mechanisms and policies for the reconstruction of the buildings. It will also review the vacant land fund near the old apartment buildings for temporary resettlement purposes.

Hanoi faces difficulties in renovating old apartment buildings

A condo named G6A with three units on Nguyen Hong Street in Ba Dinh District. It was built in 1987 and classified as dangerous. Photo: Ngoc Thanh

According to the municipal Department of Construction, Hanoi currently has 1,579 apartment buildings which were constructed between the 1960s and 1990s. Most of them are located in the city’s inner districts.

Among the apartment buildings, 179 are classified as dangerous or severely damaged. Most were built before 1954.

Many of these apartment buildings are more than 60 years old and pose a threat of collapse, but relocating their occupants to renovate them is not an easy task.

Many families have illegally modified their own apartments, more or less affecting the load-bearing capacity of their buildings which structures have already been deteriorated.

The department said that they refused to move out despite being aware of the danger. Most of them say they have lived there for 20-30 years and do not want to change to another place which could be far from the capital city’s downtown.

"If we move, we would be resettled in the Phap Van residential area where is 10 kilometers from the downtown with a lot of inconveniences. And we are also wondering how the city will compensate us," Nguyen Tuan Khanh, a resident in G6A old condo on Nguyen Hong Street in Ba Dinh District, told The Hanoi Times.

 The Kim Lien old apartment building on Pham Ngoc Thach Street in Dong Da District. Photo: Anh Tuan

It can be easily seen that the important task of renovating and rebuilding dilapidated apartment buildings in Hanoi has faced other obstacles related to planning, land clearance, and profits for investors and residents.

Therefore, the municipal authorities are calling for investment from the private sector to avoid sizable spending from the public budget.

The municipal Department of Construction said that Hanoi has called for private investment in 28 decayed buildings. Some 16 investors have registered to take part in the renovation. However, according to investors, a number of regulations covering private investment in this aspect are not suitable with reality.

“To accelerate the work of renovating and rebuilding old apartment complexes in the city, mechanisms related to land compensation, investor selection, and resettlement must be further improved. The benefits for each party (investors and residents) should also be clarified,” Architect Truong Van Quang, from the Vietnam Urban Planning and Development Association, told The Hanoi Times.