Condo buildings in Thu Duc District. National Assembly deputy Nguyen Mai Bo from An Giang Province wants condo maintenance fund appropriation to be treated as criminal offense. (Photo: Le Anh)

Condo buildings in Thu Duc District. National Assembly deputy Nguyen Mai Bo from An Giang Province wants condo maintenance fund appropriation to be treated as criminal offense. (Photo: Le Anh)

On grilling Minister of Construction Pham Hong Ha at a question-and-answer session on June 5, as part of the National Assembly’s ongoing sitting, Bo asked the minister whether the Ministry of Construction’s inspection had referred the handling of appropriation of maintenance funds to the Investigative Police Agency.

Minister Ha admitted that in recent years, many residents have complained about the contribution, management, use and handover of the funds. Under current construction practice, homebuyers have to pay 2% of the home value to the investor to create the maintenance fund, and in many cases, such funds are misappropriated by investors.

To handle the problem, the ministry will research, amend and supplement some relevant regulations, especially Circular 02 on the management of apartment buildings and maintenance fees, according to the minister.

Bo was dissatisfied with Ha’s answer, noting that the aim of addressing the misappropriation of condo maintenance funds is to protect residents’ interests.

He said residents caught appropriating VND5 million would face penal sanctions, whereas investors in apartment blocks who misappropriate large sums of money from maintenance funds are not treated as criminal offenders.

Besides this, deputy To Thi Bich Chau from HCMC said that the minister must pledge to handle the problem effectively after the circular is amended to avoid discouraging residents and reducing their confidence in the Government.

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung promised that stricter regulations would be launched to address violations related to apartment governance and maintenance fee management.

In addition, the deputy prime minister also mentioned other irregularities regarding housing construction, and asked the Ministry of Construction and local governments to inspect and review the amended plans and impose harsh sanctions on violators who fail to comply with planning standards and prevailing regulations in construction.

Deputy Prime Minister Dung suggested that local governments should proactively carry out plans approved to address the rising number of long-delayed projects.

Aside from prioritizing the construction of budget housing and dormitories for workers in industrial zones, local government officials were asked to enhance inspections and resolutely revoke slow-moving projects based on investors’ errors and shortcomings.

Source: Saigontimes