» » Construction department says small apartments unsuitable

The HCMC Department of Construction has finally raised its voice over a controversy surrounding a petition to build 20-square-meter apartments, saying that such small-sized apartment development will violate current regulation and go against the city’s housing policy.

The move comes as Dat Lanh Real Estate Company in late April introduced a model apartment as small as 20 square meters at its condo project named Thai An on Nguyen Van Qua Street in Dong Hung Thuan Ward in HCMC’s District 12.

"We welcomed the company’s idea and petition for studying a model of 20-square-meter apartment development, but that will go against regulations in the Housing Law as well as not be appropriate to the housing policy in the city once translated into reality," the construction department said in a statement officially issued late last week.

The department cited the current housing law to support its rejection, saying that space for each apartment must not be smaller than 30 square meters in a social housing project and 45 square meters in a commercial condo project.

Moreover, the city has set a target for its housing development program that will lift the current 25.5 square meters per capita to nearly 30 square meters per capita between now and 2015. Therefore, the small apartment model is not suitable to the city’s housing policy.

The department says small-apartment project development may leave a corollary of increasing population in a residence, causing pressure on both road and social infrastructure in the city. In addition, high population density in a residence will not ensure conditions and standard of living for city dwellers.

In its petition sent to the Ministry of Construction and some relevant organizations, Dat Lanh asked for permission to develop some 100 such apartments designed for one person, at a Thai An condo project.

Some supporters say the city should allow the developer to do its pilot project to gauge market feedback, but many others show concern that allowing small-size-apartment development will by chance create ’slums in the air’ in the years to come.

"Because of not being approved, we have no way but to stop doing our pilot project at the moment. However, we will continue to nurse our idea of developing small apartments," Nguyen Van Duc, deputy director of Dat Lanh Company, told the Daily on Monday.

Duc said the company protected its idea and would continue to maneuver with public and management organizations for approval. At present, it would carry out 40-square-meter apartments, as these had been approved.

"We will wait for a change in the next two or three years, and the truth is that there is a huge real demand in accommodation down there in the society," Duc said.

Source: The Saigon Times

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