The Irrawaddy

6,000 Homebuyers Apply for 1,000 Low-Cost Housing Units in Yangon

Low-cost housing in Yangon’s Hlaing Tharyar Township.

YANGON — More than 6,000 Yangon residents have submitted applications to purchase 1,000-plus low-cost apartments put up for sale by the Yangon regional government, according to the government Public Housing Sale Committee.

“Over 20,000 people bought application forms, but only 6,000 of them have submitted applications,” U Nyi Nyi, secretary of the Public Housing Sale Committee, told The Irrawaddy.

The committee is due to meet by the end of this month to determine how the apartments will be allotted. “We’ll discuss to whom to sell the apartments at the meeting,” he said.

The Public Housing Sale Committee received a total of 6,020 application forms—753 from retired civil servants, 1,761 from civil servants, 843 from company staff and 2,663 from the general public.

The committee, which is staffed by regional lawmakers and department heads, will choose the buyers based on a majority decision by the committee members.

“We will make sure there is no nepotism in selling those apartments,” said U Nyi Nyi, who also represents South Dagon Township in the regional parliament.

The apartments up for sale are in South Dagon, Dagon Seikkan, Thingangyun, Hlaing Tharyar, Shwepyithar and North Okkalapa townships.

Application forms were sold from Feb. 5-20 for 1,000 kyats each, according to the Department of Urban and Housing Development.

“The price of an Ava Housing apartment is around five million kyats cheaper than the normal price of an apartment,” U Min Min, who has applied to buy a unit in the Ava project in South Dagon Township, told The Irrawaddy.

Buyers are required to place a down payment of 30 percent of the price of the apartment, and then pay monthly installments for a period of 10 to 15 years.

“It is not easy for a middle-class family to buy an apartment today. It may take more than 15 years to save up enough money to buy one. So, the installment system provided by the government is good for us,” U Min Min said.

“We don’t know yet which is the most popular township. But it seems most of the applicants have applied for apartments in the Ava Housing project. We are trying to sell more apartments,” U Nyi Nyi said.

The apartments on offer have selling prices of 10 million to 60 million kyats depending on their location—the cheapest are in Dagon Seikkan and the more expensive ones in other townships— according to the Public Housing Sale Committee.

In his New Year’s speech, President U Win Myint highlighted the country’s housing problem, and promised that his government would give priority to providing accommodation for retired civil servants.

According to the president, 4,627 apartment units have been built in regions and states for civil servants over the past two years, and 7,000 more would be built in the next three years.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.