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Oct 06, 2022 / 21:33

Residents await early disbursement of condo reconstruction package

A $5.3 million package for the appraisal and reconstruction of dilapidated apartments is expected to be disbursed soon.

The people of Hanoi expect the city authorities will soon spend the VND128 billion (US$5.3 million) package to renovate old apartment buildings and ensure their safe accommodation.

 An extremely downgraded apartment building in Ngoc Khanh Ward of Ba Dinh District. Photo: The Hanoi Times

Bui Thi Hue, a resident of Quynh Mai Ward in Hai Ba Trung District, told The Hanoi Times that her apartment block was built in 1960-1970, and her family has lived here for many years.

Although her dilapidated condo had been included in the city's renovation plan since 2010, work has yet to begin, she said.

And because their low incomes do not allow them to buy houses elsewhere, people have had to continue living in substandard apartments and face permanent dangers.

"For ten years, the Hanoi People's Committee has selected three companies to develop specific plans to rebuild the buildings, but the works have not been completed," Hue said.

“We are delighted with the city's VND128 billion package to assess the quality of old condos, as it is likely to accelerate the renovation of our building.”

According to the Hanoi Construction Department, some 1,580 old apartment buildings in the city were built before 1994. Most of them are located in the central districts such as Ba Dinh, Hai Ba Trung and Thanh Xuan.

Over time, the old apartment buildings have degraded. As each unit is small, the dwellers have built structures to increase the floor area, thus damaging the building and threatening their safety.

In July, the Hanoi People’s Council passed a housing development program for 2021-2030, in which the city will renovate ten old buildings.

Accordingly, the city will set aside VND500 billion (US$20 million) for 2021-2025 to assess the quality of 10 old condos before reconstruction. By the end of the second quarter of 2023, the city will complete the assessment of extremely degraded buildings.

“The assignment may be feasible for the first six blocks in the wards of Kim Lien, Trung Tu and Khuong Thuong in Dong Da District, Thanh Xuan Bac and Thanh Xuan Nam in Thanh Xuan District, and Nghia Tan in Cau Giay District, and four extremely degraded blocks in the wards of Giang Vo, Thanh Cong, Ngoc Khanh and Cong Vi in Ba Dinh District,” Vo Nguyen Phong, Director of the Hanoi Construction Department, said.

According to the construction department, only 1% of all dilapidated buildings were rebuilt in the last 20 years because the city has failed to harmonize the interests of dwellers, enterprises and the State. Meanwhile, administrative obstacles have prevented enterprises from finishing their work.

"Assessing old condos with funds from the state budget is an innovative move by Hanoi authorities," said urban planning specialist Tran Tuan Anh.

“The action will end the financial conflicts between dwellers and enterprises and ensure fair compensations for residents,” he said.

“The endless conflict between dwellers and enterprises is all about the compensation and the assistance of the State agencies will harmonize the interests between the two parties.”

The big question is how to use the package efficiently to minimize potential risks for related parties, Anh said.

“The authorities should test the method in some particular old apartment buildings, then learn from practice and expand the work,” Le Van Hoat, member of the Consultancy Board for Democracy and Legislation under the Hanoi Fatherland Front Committee, said.

“The measure may help the city use the package well, avoid unnecessary losses and limit the risks that may arise in the implementation,” he said.