Complaints hound low-cost Myanmar housing project  

Buyers see cracks in government-built homes—literally

The busy streets of Yangon during sunset. travelwild/Shutterstock

Buyers of the Yuzana low-cost apartment complex in Yangon are complaining about the quality and structural integrity of their purchases, the Myanmar Times is reporting.

Many units in the project have not been turned over to buyers despite the units being offered on sale in 2016. Residents also criticised the poor security in the project located in Dagon Seikkan township, with reports of cables, pipes, and personal property being stolen while informal settlements close in on the area.

“We receive complaints almost every day, and although we’re not perfect most people understand the problems once we have explained them. There haven’t been any serious problems yet,” said Daw Khin Theingi, deputy director of the Department of Urban and Housing Development (DUHD) which is developing the complex.

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“We guarantee that the rooms will be completed after the contract has been signed,” Daw Khin Theingi added.

But while some residents can already move into their homes, those units do not even have operational utilities. “Many of the residents are permitted to stay, but we don’t feel comfortable without a proper electricity supply—a problem we thought would be resolved when the apartments first started to sell,” Daw Su Hlaing Htwe, a resident who had bought an apartment two years ago, complained to the Times.

Purchasers are not permitted to resell the units for a period of five years. However, many are keen to put the units on the market via real estate brokers within a month of signing the contract because of the foregoing issues, the Times reported.

Wall cracks and other structural defects have been found in many units and could prove to be hurdles to reselling though. “Even if we continued to make repairs nobody else will buy this apartment,” charged resident Daw Hnin Wai Tun.

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