Migrant workers lack housing in Da Nang

Published: 24/02/2011 05:00



The shortage of accommodation is the biggest worry for migrant
workers in the central City of Da Nang where, on the other hand, several budget
housing projects have stalled in the last few years.

A row of lodging
houses in Lien Chieu District’s Hoa Khanh Bac Ward in central Da Nang City which
are rented by workers from nearby industrial parks.
(Photo: VNS)

their job is not the biggest fear for most migrant workers in the central city,
especially those working at export processing zones (EPZs) and industrial parks
(IPs), Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper said.

than 60 per cent of nearly 60,000 workers at the six EPZs and IPs here are from
other provinces. However, the city does not have a single apartment block for

Thousands of the workers rent cheap houses or low-quality apartments.

“Since a
large number of new urban areas have been built, low-cost accommodation is
becoming scarce since land for [it] has shrunk,” Duong Thanh Thi, chairman of
Lien Chieu District People’s Committee, which is home of Lien Chieu and Hoa
Khanh IPs, said.

demand for low-cost housing is the highest in his district since it houses the
two largest IPs, accounting for 50 per cent of all workers at EPZs and IPs, in
addition to thousands of students study in five local universities and
vocational schools, he said.

The lack
of stable accommodation has led to negative impacts on the quality of living of
both workers and local residents, he said.

“But the
administration is unable to resolve the problem,” he admitted.

Thi Hong, a worker at Hoa Khanh IP, said she shared a place very far from her
workplace with four others but still considered herself lucky since thousands of
others were not able to find a place to stay.

housing that catered to workers and students has been demolished to make way for
other housing projects, Hong said.

A public
project to build three budget five-storey buildings for low-income people and
workers in Lien Chieu actually began in 2003.

to provide 600 apartments, it was approved at a cost of VND27 billion (US$1.35

But it
has dragged on for more than seven years, including two stoppages after running
out of money. An additional VND3.3 billion ($165,000) was approved for its
construction but only its frame has been built so far.

The main
contractor, Da Nang Industrial Zones Infrastructure Development Company, has
blamed the delay on lack of funds.

The work
was handed last year to a new contractor, the Hung Phu Investment Joint Stock
Company, which promised to complete 183 apartments last year, and accommodation
for another 5,000 workers and facilities for their entertainment and services
this year.

But Lao
Dong reported work has not become any faster.

In an
effort to address the pressing issue of the workers’ housing shortage, the city
People’s Committee recently reviewed and repossessed lands allotted to public
budget-apartment projects that have been delayed.

One of
the main reasons for the tardy progress and lack of interest among investors is
the low profitability of such projects and the long time needed to make returns
on them.

problems include the projects’ shortage of land, meaning investors cannot
undertake expansions for other use.

Meanwhile, workers and other low-income people are languishing for lack of
housing, Lao Dong said.

Nam News

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