Ho Chi Minh City will allocate nearly 567 trillion dong ($25 billion) and 974ha of land for housing in the next four years to increase the per capita housing space to at least 23.5sqm.

The southern Vietnamese city has approved a programme to develop commercial housing, especially low-priced, social housing and renovate or rebuild degraded apartment buildings until 2025.

It seeks to increase housing space per person to at least 23.5sqm from the current 20.65sqm, and 25.6sqm in the city centre.

The city will allocate nearly 800.9ha of land for commercial housing development and 173.5ha for social housing, and spend 239.7 trillion dong on commercial housing, 37.7 trillion dong on social housing and 289.5 trillion dong on private housing.

The programme’s mission is to develop social housing and cheap commercial housing to meet the demands of blue-collar workers and people living along canals and in other areas unfit for habitation.

In districts 5, 6, 8, 11, 10, Phu Nhuan, and Tan Binh, and especially 4, Go Vap, Tan Phu, and Binh Thanh, where there is large demand for upgrading and building private housing, the city will invest in infrastructure.

In districts 7 and Binh Tan and Thu Duc City, it will invest in infrastructure near industrial parks and clusters and call on the private sector to build rental housing for workers.

Some 1.3 million workers in the city need housing. Most now live in rented rooms, paying 10-15 per cent of their income as rent, according to the Department of Construction.

The average worker’s house is 14sqm in size, costs 1.6 million dong to rent, and is shared by four people.

Since the end of 2019 the city has implemented 15 housing projects for workers, but the number is too small compared to demand.