|The permission to build apartments measuring 25m2 is causing mixed opinions.|
Apartments measuring 25m2 in Vietnamese cities
After much controversy, small apartments measuring 25m2 were officially founded.
According to Circular No. 21/2019/TT-BXD on National Technical Regulations on apartment buildings,effective from July 1, 2020,the minimum usable area of apartments in projects is not less than 25m2.
For low-income and middle-income people,this is obviously good news because at the moment, the smallest social housing apartment they can access is 45m2,with the price level of Hanoi, the people must pay VND700-800 millionto buy them.
Many workerssupported this new regulation when asked. Mr. Manh Long (Thanh Tri, Hanoi) said that he and his wife are garment factory workers.The income between them was only around 10 million dong each month,and they were raising two small children, so the couple stillrent a housefor ten years due to not being able to arrange finance. “If there is a 25m2 apartment to buy, it would be good for us.We rent a self-contained hostel with only 15-17m2, which is humid, sleazy, no entertainment, and no parking outside,"Mr. Long said.
Objections to the construction of micro apartments say thatthe permission for building this type of apartmentwillincrease the number of small apartments,leading to a rapidly growing population, great pressure on infrastructure and traffic.Especially, big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are currently overloaded, with traffic jams becoming more serious.
Facing concerns about the consequences of allowing the construction of small apartments, Mr. Le Hoang Chau, representative of Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association (HoREA) said: “National technical regulations on this apartment building should have been issued and come into effect on July 1, 2015(the effective date of Housing Law 2014), which is more appropriate.”
From the practice of Ho Chi Minh City, especially in terms of population, household structure and housing needs of different population classes,the association supported the construction of small apartments in commercial housing apartments, because first of all, small apartments met the real needs of a part of HCMC residents.
“Demand for houses, especially small apartments of cadres, civil servants, State officials, armed forces personnel, middle-income earners, low-income urban people,including foreign experts in HCMC are huge.For example, 32.8% of households, equivalent to 839,323 households, living in rented/borrowedhouses or flats or stay in relatives, no private houses.In particular, many people have a need to create houses, especially small apartments," Mr. Chau said.
When reviewing and approving housing construction investment projects, local governments should ensure their conformity with zoning planning, detailed planning, social and technical infrastructureapprove by competent authorities for population, construction density, building height, infrastructure to ensure not to overload the population, to ensure the providing capacity of social and engineering infrastructure systems in the project area and connecting with other areas.
On the other hand, to avoid the situation that the investor focused on buildingmany small apartments in one project,Circular 21/2019/TT-BXDhas stipulated that the total number of apartments under 45m2 cannot exceed 25% of the total of apartments of the project.
(Ministry of Construction)
Apartments with 25m2: Not only in Vietnam
According to the Ministry of Construction, the permission for building apartments measuring 25m2 in accordance with the current provisions of the housing law is specified in the Standard of Minimum Area for Social Housing Apartments, Nationalhousing Development Strategy2020 towards 2030. A minimum standard of 25m2 for apartments is provided to ensure minimum living space and amenities for users, while ensuring it is suitable with the actual situation of the market,especially those who want to buy apartments to use for single households or young, newly-established families.
Not only in Vietnam, in fact, many countries in the world allow"small studio apartments" with an area of about 20m2 with specific design standards, combined with the use of interior equipment which can change function or fold.
Mr. Nguyen Van Dinh, Deputy General Secretary of Vietnam Real Estate Association said that the problem of slums depended on many other factors but not on the area. Mr. Dinh said that many countries such as Singapore, Thailand, South Koreahad separate areas with a small area of about 25m2, the largest is only 30m2, people living here were mainly workers, single laborers or young couples without children.
The "super" areas were planned and designed in synchronous infrastructure, so these areas were spacious.
“The most important is State management.Specifically, the quality of housing is determined by basic factors such as construction quality, finishing quality, equipment systems, infrastructure conditions, operation management services," Mr. Nguyen Van said.
To minimize the impact that may overload the urban infrastructure system and prevent the "slums" when allowing the construction of small apartments, HoREA representative suggested the Ministry of Construction and leaders of the locality attach importance to four factors witha decisive role, including: planning; designing apartment buildings and small apartments; managing and operation of the Management Board of apartment buildings; awareness of apartment building users.
“For Ho Chi Minh City, in order to reduce pressure for the centralarea, it is recommended to approve investment in the construction of high-rise apartment projects with "small apartments"of at least 25m2 in suburban districts, especially around industrial parks, export processing zones, hi-tech parks, industrial clusters, Ho Chi Minh City National University,” Mr. Le Hoang Chau said.
On the other hand, Mr. Nguyen Van Duc, Deputy Director of DatLanh Real Estate Company, said that until now, it was too late to allow the construction of apartments measuring 25m2. Proposals to allow the construction of small-sized houses 10 years ago, Mr. Duc said that if this regulation was born 10 years ago,it would be more suitable.
"In socio-economic development, there is also the so-called"golden time",just like in medicine, the first 8 hours after a stroke are the"golden time",if untreated, it is left severe symptoms.”
“Apartments measuring 25m2 are the same. People are still need houses, millions of people are still in the hostels with 10-15m2,but I'm worried that when regulation is issued,how many enterprises deploying houses with 25m2, because super-large enterprises do not want to do, small enterprises such as Dat Lanh and Khang Gia want to workbut they are already exhausted, or demoralizedand lose morale," Mr. Duc said.
Mr. Nguyen Van Duc also suggested that small apartment building projects should not be built in the central area but should only be allowed to be built in the suburbs, in these areas can allow 100% of small area apartments.
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