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Landlords reduce rent to help unemployed workers

Landlords in many localities have reduced or exempted rent for tenants who have lost jobs or have suffered financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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A landlord in HCM City hands out gifts to tenants. — VNA/VNS Photo

About 70 landlords in Binh Phuoc Province’s Dong Xoai Town have agreed to reduce rent by 20-60 per cent to help tenants.

Pham Van Thao, a landlord who owns 53 rooms in Dong Xoai Town, said he has offered a reduction of VND200,000 (US$8.5) a room. The rent is normally VND700,000 ($30) a room.

Most of the tenants are lottery ticket sellers and low-income employees who have been laid off due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Thao said.

It is tough for them to meet basic needs when they have no income, he added.

Thao promised to reduce the rent even more in coming months if the tenants remain unemployed due to the pandemic.

Many landlords in Chon Thanh, Dong Phu and Bu Dang districts have agreed to cut rent to help disadvantaged tenants following encouragement from the provincial Fatherland Front Committee.

The Tra Vinh Province Labour Federation has encouraged many landlords to exempt or reduce rent for their tenants.

Nguyen Thi Vay, chairwoman of the province's Labour Federation, said tenants in 250 rooms would receive rental exemption or reduction. 

Le Thi Huynh Nga, owner of 100 rooms with more than 200 tenants in the province, said most of the tenants are workers who became unemployed amid the COVID-19 outbreak. She said she would not collect rent until they can return to their jobs.

Nguyen Ngoc Huong, a worker at Long Duc Industrial Park in the province, said she had lower income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in financial difficulties.

“The landlord agreed to take no rent. It is really meaningful action in this tough time,” she said.

Ho Xuan Lam, deputy chairman of the HCM City Labour Federation, said the federation has implemented various activities to help workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

District-level labour federations have worked with nearly 100 landlords who have been willing to reduce rental fees on 1,500 rooms by between VND100,000 and VND1 million (between $4 and $42).

A total of 4,680 workers facing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 outbreak have received financial aid of VND1 million ($42) a person and gifts worth VND200,000 ($8.5) a person.

The federation in collaboration with the Business Association of High Quality Vietnamese Products have handed out 1,000 free meals and gifts to workers who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.

Affected workers are eligible to take out low-interest loans from the Capital Aid Fund for Employment of the Poor (CEP) to maintain their livelihood, Lam said.  VNS

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