Do Phi Hung, Director of the Department of Construction, said 15,000 more apartments are needed for people moved out of areas along the city’s canals. Around 57,000 households have been evicted.
According to district authorities, some 42,000 of them have been paid compensation while the remaining 15,000 need assistance from the relocation land fund.
The city also requires apartments for relocating residents living in 474 degraded tenements that need to be renovated, but Hung said the city faces a shortage of funds and land for the purpose.
Le Hoang Chau, Chairman of the HCM City Real Estate Association, said a lot of land is needed for these projects and for the city’s urban renovation and development programme.
Many real estate developers said there are too many unoccupied relocation apartments already.
The new residential area in Binh Chanh district was built to relocate over 2,000 families affected by the renovation and upgrade to the Tan Hoa – Lo Gom Canal in Binh Tan and Tan Phu districts. The new area has attracted few tenants.
A manager of the New Thu Thiem Urban Area project in district 2 said the city plans to build 10,529 apartments and 2,290 house foundations, both for relocation, but people have registered for only 3,200 apartments and some 1,000 houses.
But the relocation projects have already begun to deteriorate. At the New Thu Thiem Urban Area for instance, infrastructure is worsening while its parks have been overrun by weeds.
Hung revealed that city authorities plan to sell most of the relocation apartments and foundations in district 2 to real estate firms.
The spokesman for a HCM City-based real estate company that had built relocation apartments in district 2 under the build-transfer (BT) form, said HCM City does not lack lands or relocation apartments, only policies to make life “peaceful” for relocating residents.
According to HoREA’s Chau, relocation apartments must be built in areas with good infrastructure, while authorities must also consider the livelihoods available for people moving in there.
The relocations areas must be near schools, health centres and people’s workplaces, he said.
“Authorities should not force residents to relocate to places Government agencies want, only to areas they want to.”