The chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) People Committee has pledged to review all housing projects in the city and work out solutions to create a “more transparent, fair and competitive business environment”.
Speaking at an annual meeting with the HCMC Real Estate Association (HoREA) on February 27, Nguyen Thanh Phong said the city would work with agencies to address delays in “the issuance of investment policy approval for developers and ownership certificates for homebuyers”.
HoREA chairman Le Hoang Chau said that over the past years, the association has submitted numerous petitions and proposals to the government and local authorities to resolve problems related to investment and construction.
Businesses have frequently petitioned the People’s Committee to speed up procedures for investment approval for commercial housing projects, he added.
Last year alone, 61 commercial housing projects were delayed because the land they were allotted was a mix of plots with various purposes and uses, he said.
“A number of projects being built on public lands were halted and are being reviewed for compliance,” Chau added.
According to a report from the Department of Construction, procedures for investment approval of commercial housing projects take up to 247 working days, or 50 weeks, excluding 14 public holidays, which is too long.
The association has also urged city authorities to speed up the issuance of home ownership certificates for more than 30,402 housing units in 163 projects in the city.
He said: “The Department of Natural Resources and Environment needs to work with the Department of Finance, the City Land Price Appraisal Council and other agencies to determine land-use fees for the housing projects to speed up the process.
“Priority should be given to home-ownership certificates for homebuyers who have fulfilled their obligations under the housing purchase contract.”
A number of apartment buildings have been built in violation of approved plans and designs in the city, delaying the issuance of land-use and home ownership certificates, according to the Department of Construction.
Many developers have even mortgaged their buildings to get loans for other projects, meaning buyers have been unable to get ownership certificates, it said.
Recently, city authorities issued guidelines to speed up the issuance of land-use and home ownership certificates to buyers to prevent disputes with housing developers.
They divided apartment projects into two categories related to collection of land-use fees and issuance of ownership certificates.
For apartments within a compound, the entire project area is identified as “residential land” and is subject to fees for issuance of certificates for land-use rights, house ownership and other land-related assets.
For those without compounds that come with public areas such as parks, schools, hospitals, and main roads connecting to public roads outside the apartment building, only the area of land used for apartment construction is considered “residential land”.
For public areas, the city will organise bids to select investors.
The construction of technical works such as electricity and water supply, drainage, lighting and telecommunications systems must be done by the developer and handed over to the city. No land-use fees will be collected.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment has been assigned to work with the departments of planning and architecture, construction, and other agencies to classify land areas in each project (both already completed and upcoming) subject to fees for issuance of ownership certificates.
The Department of Construction will be responsible for monitoring compliance with construction norms and penalising violators.
The city has ordered agencies to carefully review investors’ financial capacity before licensing projects. Investors found to have committed violations must be severely sanctioned.
There are 15,000 real estate firms operating in the city.
Experts attributed the challenges facing businesses to inconsistent regulations on housing and land investment. Hundreds of housing projects are under inspection for legal procedures, delaying their progress.
VIET NAM NEWS/ASIA NEWS NETWORK