Con­struc­tion min­istry ten­ders for state-hous­ing up­grade

The Myanmar Times - - Business - ZAY YAR LIN za­yarlinn@mm­times.com – Trans­la­tion by Win Thaw Tar

THE Min­istry of Con­struc­tion will pri­ori­tise de­sign over con­struc­tion costs when pick­ing the win­ner of a ten­der to re­place the age­ing state-owned Lan Thit hous­ing devel­op­ment, a min­istry of­fi­cial told The Myan­mar Times.

There are 11 state-owned hous­ing projects across Myan­mar’s largest city: two built un­der the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment and nine that are more than half a cen­tury old.

Lan Thit is the first of the old projects to be up­graded un­der the new ad­min­is­tra­tion, and the min­istry’s Depart­ment of Ur­ban and Hous­ing Devel­op­ment is­sued a ten­der for the up­grade last week.

In­ter­ested com­pa­nies will com­pete on build­ing de­sign and con­struc­tion cost, al­though the for­mer is more im­por­tant, said U Min Htein, the depart­ment’s di­rec­tor gen­eral. The gov­ern­ment will pro­vide the land for the project – the same site on which the ex­ist­ing devel­op­ment now sits – while the ten­der win­ner will fund con­struc­tion un­der a pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship (PPP) agree­ment.

The sub­se­quent apart­ment own­er­ship split be­tween the ten­der win­ner and the gov­ern­ment has not yet been de­cided, said U Min Htein.

In the two state-owned hous­ing projects built un­der the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment, which also used a PPP struc­ture, the gov­ern­ment took own­er­ship of 60 per­cent and 52pc of the apart­ments re­spec­tively.

State-owned hous­ing – pro­vided mainly to pub­lic sec­tor em­ploy­ees like civil ser­vants and the mil­i­tary – is highly-sought af­ter be­cause of the ar­ti­fi­cially low rents. There are some 16,000 rent-fixed apart­ments across the 11 state-owned hous­ing projects, which their own­ers are for­bid­den to sell or rent out. Res­i­dents in the 264 apart­ments in Lan Thit pay monthly rent of K12.50 per square foot – far be­low mar­ket rate. The up­graded Lan Thit project will in­clude re­place­ments for res­i­dents of the 264 rent-fixed apart­ments, and a group of new apart­ments that will be sold at mar­ket price. It is this group of mar­ket-rate apart­ments that the gov­ern­ment and ten­der win­ner will di­vide.

U Yu Khine, the depart­ment’s di­rec­tor, said the gov­ern­ment had se­cured Lan Thit res­i­dents’ agree­ment for the ren­o­va­tion, and that each res­i­dent would re­ceive an iden­ti­cal apart­ment af­ter the up­grade.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive com­mit­tee, com­pris­ing 22 res­i­dents – two from each of the 11 Lan Thit build­ings – has been formed to help make sure that each res­i­dent re­ceives an apart­ment at least as spa­cious as their pre­vi­ous home.

“If the orig­i­nal apart­ment was 600 square feet, they should give us [new] apart­ments of around 700 square feet be­cause fam­i­lies are grad­u­ally in­creas­ing,” said U Lwin Aung Soe, a res­i­dent in build­ing no. 10 and mem­ber of the project rep­re­sen­ta­tive com­mit­tee.

Lan Thit res­i­dents will have to rent tem­po­rary ac­com­mo­da­tion while the re-devel­op­ment takes place, but will re­ceive K300,000 monthly rent al­lowance from the com­pany that wins the ten­der.

Photo: Nyan Zay Htet

A cy­clist ped­dles past state-owned apart­ments in the Pha Sa Pa La es­tate in Yan­gon’s Min­galar Taung Nyunt town­ship.

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