Volume 6(2019)

PAGE 9/26

Regarding the distance from the poor households to main roads, there is a distinguished difference between the poor and the near-poor and between the central and peri-urban districts. In the city centre, the alley networks are quite intertwined and connected to the main roads. In this study, the distance from the poor households to main roads is not far, at approximately 300 m on average. In the peri-urban districts, the distance from the poor households in deep alleys to main roads is longer, approximately 512 m on average. This is due to the network in peri-urban districts having fewer roads than the city centre. Only one or two main roads cut through the peri-urban districts, such as Binh Chanh, Cu Chi and Can Gio.

Table 6: Width of road or alley and distance to main roads nearby (m)

Poor Near poor Total
Width of road or alley in front of house (mean, m) 2.8 3.0 2.9
Distance to the main road nearby (mean, m) 398 274 347

The housing conditions of the poor in the inner districts are better than those in the peri-urban districts. The basic housing conditions of poor households have improved due to the city's poverty reduction programme, which provides support through housing loans or by offering a residence (charity house). This policy has contributed to better housing conditions for poor households.

The houses of the poor families are larger in the peri-urban areas, at 70.4 m2 on average, than in the city centre, at 53.5 m2. This equates overall to about 17.3 m2 per person, which is 1 m2 smaller than for the whole city (at 18.5 m2 per person in 2017, according to HCMC Real Estate Association’s real estate market report. The housing area per poor person in the central districts is significantly different from that of the peri-urban districts. In the central districts, the average area per poor person is 14.1 m2, while it is 19.6 m2 in the peri-urban districts. Although the peri-urban districts, such as Binh Chanh and Cu Chi, are being urbanized, people maintain agricultural activities. Vacant land in these districts is still spacious, and the houses are not so dense as they are in the central areas. Most of the poor households own their dwelling (at 87.5 per cent overall).

Table 7: Housing area and housing area per person (m2)

Housing area (mean, m2) 53.5 70.4 62.7
Housing area per person (mean, m2) 14.6 19.6 17.3

Power supply

Most of the poor households, at 94.2 per cent, are connected to the power network, thanks to the city policy. The power network covers most of the districts in the city, regardless near or far, and most of the poor households have their own electricity metre. In addition, poor households can receive a monthly allowance for the electricity fees, although some people in the study are unaware of this provision.