A group of Vietnamese last week undertook a one week study tour of South Korea to learn more about low cost housing in that country
Vietnamese participants studying in Seoul human resource development centre.
The tour which took place between January 16-22 2011 was organised by UN-HABITAT and International Urban Training Centre (IUTC), Korea as part of the project on low-income housing policies. Participants included officers of Ministry of Construction (MOC), government management agency for housing in Viet Nam, Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), other departments related to land, housing and community development, representatives from local municipalities and the Association Cities of Viet Nam (ACVN).
The visit was aimed to strengthen the capacity of Vietnamese housing policy makers in policy, institutional, regulatory/legal and financial frameworks for low-income housing provision and in improvement of accessibility in a participatory manner.
“The study tour is a good chance for Vietnamese housing policy makers to learn experiences of pro-poor housing development, formulation of housing policy and financing initiatives in Korea, one of Asian countries which have developed this sector well,” said Mr. Tran Xuan Bach, the UN-HABITAT Vietnam Project Manager.
He added: We have tried to make it as practical as possible with a mix of training workshop, site visits and meeting with related institutions on the field and to explore some practical model like housing saving fund modality in Korea.”
The primary objective of the study tour was to exchange information, knowledge and experience between housing policy makers and practitioners of Viet Nam and Korea, particularly on pro-poor housing development approaches, policy formulation, framework delivery and housing financing initiatives developed and used in various housing projects and investments in Korea. It is expected that follow-through actions that are practical and applicable solutions would be adopted and implemented to suit the Vietnam’s contexts, particularly with the ongoing design and implementation of the Viet Nam national housing strategy, with the objective of ensuring affordable and accessible housing for the poor.
With average increase of population of about 1 million people per year, Viet Nam remains one of the most densely populated countries in the region and in the world. Rapid urbanization under the influence of the market economy led to a wide-scale and intense redistribution of the population and labor force throughout the country. Population density in the capital of Hanoi reached nearly 1900 people per km in 2009 and that of Ho Chi Minh City is 3,400 people As per Viet Nam Population and Housing Census 2009 (General Statistics Office). While the housing shortage per household is around 0,06 % Ministry of Construction Statistics, 2010, this statistics could be changed with the calculation of housing area per head, the redistribution of population and the quality of housing stock. In some cities, the housing price is far from affordable to many low and middle income people. Decent social housing for workers, migrants, students and some disadvantaged groups is also in serious shortage.
When Viet Nam grows and moves up on the ladder of Middle Income Countries (MIC), it is crucial to ensure social protection for people that includes the promotion of housing right, to sustain the country’s socio-economic stability. UN-HABITAT, together with other UN Agencies, has been supporting the Government of Viet Nam to achieve its development agenda for the benefit of Vietnamese people. Within this framework, Ministry of Construction has requested UN-HABITAT’s technical support in the improvement of the national housing policy and the development of a strategy for low income housing that is critical for inclusive, equitable and sustainable housing development and management.