Lack of legal corridor results in stagnant renovation of old apartments

Time has taken its toll on old buildings in Ho Chi Minh City and most of them have fallen into disrepair. Residents living in fear in such dilapidated old apartments. Despite governments’ efforts to renovate these old buildings, lack of legal corridors resulted in a stagnant renovation of old apartments.
Vinh Hoi apartment building in District 4 is classified at level D, the dangerous level. The outer walls of the 4-story high building are covered with thick moss. More dangerous, over time, the ceilings of the apartments have been damaged, revealing concrete and steel.
Lack of legal corridor results in stagnant renovation of old apartments ảnh 1 Mô tả ảnh
According to the owner of apartment A18, from the end of 2018 till the middle of 2019, the district administration has called for investors to participate in the construction project and planned for resettlement; however, the coronavirus pandemic 19 stopped the plan.
Truc Giang apartment building, which is ranked level D, suffers the same fate. The apartment building is empty because residents have moved to new places; yet, three families still refused to move to other places because they said their new residence is too far from the workplace.
The city is now home to 474 apartment buildings, which were built before 1975 and only 10 of them have been rebuilt. The others, such as Nguyen Thien Thuat in District 3, Vien Dong in District 5, Ngo Gia Tu and An Quang in District 10, and Thanh Da in Binh Thanh District, have seriously deteriorated, threatening the safety of residents and damaging the city’s landscapes.
According to the People’s Committee in District 4, three apartment buildings in the district ranked level D were built before 1975. Most of the residents in apartment Nguyen Tat Thanh agreed to move to new residences; however, the local administrators have not failed to choose investors. Three families in Truc Giang refused to relocate in Phu Tho apartment in District 11. Governments have repaired Tan My apartment in District 7 as a temporary residency for residents in Vinh Hoi apartment which is being under construction.
The renovation of the old apartment building has bumped into barriers although it is prescribed by law. For instance, the five-story Truc Giang Apartment has a land area of 843 square meters with 123 apartments each from 10-30 square meters. District 4 People's Committee has repeatedly invited investors to participate in renovation and reconstruction projects, but because of the small land area, investors will not make a profit.
According to the Department of Construction, there exist many inadequate regulations on renovating and building old apartment buildings. For example, the current regulations on compensation, assistance, temporary resettlement and resettlement are no longer appropriate.
Moreover, there has been no consensus on the exemption or reduction of land use fees and financial obligations arising from the adjustment of increasing planning and architectural indicators.
The People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City has authorized people's committees in districts to renovate the old apartment building, but during the process, district administrations have encountered many problems related to the current legal system; therefore, they had no choice but report to the People's Committee for further guidelines.
In addition, in early 2021, the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City has submitted amendments and supplements to the Decree 101/2015 on renovating and rebuilding old condominiums to the Ministry of Construction but the city is still waiting for approval.

By Luong Thien - Translated by Anh Quan

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