A couple of migrant workers in a rental house in HCMC. HCMC will give support to migrant workers to mitigate negative Covid-19 impacts (Photo: SGGP)
Landlords were encouraged not to demand rent from poor workers and migrant laborers for one month and give essentials to poor workers, including many landlords in Thu Duc City’s Phuoc Long A Ward where many migrant workers live. The ward is located near industrial parks.
During the social distancing, many enterprises have been facing revenue losses and some of them have further decided to negotiate with employees to reduce working hours resulting in increased unemployment. Many workers have suffered severe financial hardship; therefore, some people decided to return to their hometowns. Sympathizing with migrant workers, many landlords have reduced the rents.
Landlord Le Hung Dung at alley No. 10 at 132 Do Xuan Hop Street in Phuoc Long A ward said most of the tenants are poor laborers. He is willing to reduce 50 percent of the accommodation rent as well as provide them rice, fish sauce, vegetables until they are employed.
Many tenants were grateful of him because they enjoyed a 70 percent decrease in the rent during the outbreak of the fourth wave of the epidemic.
Similarly, landlady Ly Thi Tiep at Street No.26 in Phuoc Long A ward also decided to exempt and reduce all rental fees, electricity and water costs in addition to the provision of necessities for disadvantaged workers. She said she just collected money from tenants who have a job and income while she gave unemployed workers extra support.
Touched by landlady Tiep, worker Tran Thi Nhu Phung from the Central Province of Phu Yen said that she bumped into difficulties during the prolonged social distancing but she and her husband could overcome their hardship thanks to the landlady’s assistance.
To further help migrant workers, landlords and enterprises’ hearts have opened wide to share difficulties with migrant tenants; some landlords are even willing to cut rent till the end of 2021.
Nguyen Minh Tuan, an owner of several rental rooms in Le Trong Tan Street in Tan Phu District, said that most of the tenants are workers. When the Covid-19 epidemic broke out, Mr. Tuan had no choice but cut the rent by 50 percent. He said some unemployed workers have lately returned to their hometown, but when they return to the city for work, he will continue to reduce the rent until the end of the year.
After Ho Chi Minh City has gradually eased the social distance, many workers from all corners have returned to the southern metropolis for work; however, they are quite struggling to find a new place to settle down soon.
Worker Luu Thi Hang at Linh Trung Industrial Park in Thu Duc City who returned to HCMC after spending a month in her hometown moaned because she is staying at a friend's house while looking for a new rental room, but it's really difficult because tenants have to pay a deposit and buy the household appliance.
In the same situation, young man Vo Tin Duc from the Mekong Delta Province of Ben Tre, currently working as a security guard at a printing company in Binh Tan District, said that he had just returned to Ho Chi Minh City from the beginning of October, temporarily staying at a relative’s house while looking for a rental shelter.
Nguyen Tran Hoai Thuong, Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee in Phuoc Long A Ward, informed that the ward administration has recorded the situation of returnees and their accommodation needs. Therefore, the ward Fatherland Front is calling on rent reduction for disadvantaged workers. In addition to a rent reduction, the ward administrators will support milk and necessities for the couples with small children," said Ms. Thuong.
Hiep Phu Ward in Thu Duc City followed suit, said Chairwoman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee in the ward Nguyen Thi Tuyet Phuong. Mr. Nguyen Quang Cuong, Director of Ho Chi Minh City Youth Employment Service Center, affirmed that employees returning to Ho Chi Minh City will be supported free rental shelter and employment if they contact the center.
According to Mr. Cuong, difficult workers will be given gratis accommodation in 21 districts and Thu Duc city for the first month.
Deputy Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Van Lam said that recruitment demand in many companies has risen by day after enterprises are allowed to resume operation while a few laborers return to the city. Therefore, to attract and support workers, Ho Chi Minh City will give them doses of the vaccines right after employees return to the city for work. At the same time, city authorities have encouraged businesses to support laborers in finding accommodation.