Empathizing with the hardships of workers affected by the epidemic, many motel owners in Ho Chi Minh City have actively reduced or even waived rent and premises for customers.
Free and reduced rent
At 12 noon, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Chi (67 years old, from Ben Tre) returned to a shack in Vinh Loc B commune (Binh Chanh district, Ho Chi Minh City). Due to the complicated epidemic situation, her business of selling lottery tickets has been severely affected. Going all morning, she has not sold more than half of the lottery tickets received from last night. “Selling too slow, I’m worried this month I won’t be able to pay for the room. Fortunately, the landlord has announced that he will cut my rent by half,” said Ms. Chi, adding that she would tighten spending. To save money, every day, she eats only white rice and dried fish that was given to her by a neighbor. Living in a difficult situation, she was very happy when she heard that her rent was reduced. This joy also comes to more than 300 people who are renting at Residence No. 1 (Hoc Mon district, Ho Chi Minh City). Mr. Pham Trung Hieu, the owner of the accommodation, said that during the recent Covid-19 epidemics, the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Worker Support Center and the accommodation have implemented many programs to support tenants. Currently, many motel owners have exempted or reduced rent for employees. During this epidemic, he also reduced the rent for more than 300 people staying here. “We give gifts to workers who are renting and reduce the room rate by 50%. The accommodation is supported by a sponsor of the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Worker Support Center. We will organize people to come and receive free rice next Saturday,” he said. Meanwhile, in a row of more than 20 rooms for rent on Nguyen Cong Hoan Street (Ward 7, Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City), Mr. Ho De is free of charge for some tenants here. This is the fourth time that Mr. De has exempted or reduced the rent. He said: “Three previous epidemics, I also exempted and reduced rent. Poor families rent here for many years, I reduce the money. For students, students with difficulties, I always free rent.” Ms. Only received a reduction in the rent of the room from the lessor. To save money, she only eats white rice with the dried fish given to her. Local people said that Mr. De’s exemption and reduction of rent is not uncommon. Because more than 40 years ago, he had taken care of, even for people with difficult circumstances, poor students to stay in free accommodation. Leave a house of tens of billions, treat tenants like family In particular, recently, he completed a will with the content of leaving 2 houses worth tens of billions of dong for the lonely elderly and poor students – free of charge. Ho Thi Nhu Quynh, a student at the University of Industry 4, who is renting here, said: “Every epidemic, Mr. De also visits and asks for the innkeepers”. “He put up a notice to give everyone a 50% discount on rent. However, when he knew which families were too difficult, he reduced them from 60-70% of the rent. Some people are completely exempted from rent by him,” Nhu Quynh said. Similar to Mr. De, Ms. Nguyen Thi Thuy (owner of a motel room in Tan Quy Ward, Tan Phu District, Ho Chi Minh City) also reduced the rent and space for the poor from last May. This is the fourth time that Mr. Ho De has exempted or reduced the rent. However, until this June, the epidemic situation in Ho Chi Minh City was still complicated, so she continued to reduce the rent. She even actively reduced the rent of her already very low business premises. Mr. Nguyen Van Tai, the tenant of Ms. Thuy’s premises, said that he and his wife rented the business front in front of Ms. Thuy’s inn to sell soft drinks. Although located in a large street frontage, crowded with people, convenient for business, Ms. Thuy rented it to him at a very cheap price. “In this epidemic, Ho Chi Minh City was separated for a long time, so I sold very little. One day, we barely sold anything, it was very difficult. Fortunately, Ms. Thuy actively reduced the rent. This has helped our family a lot during this tight time,” said Mr. Tai. Thuy shared, most of the tenants here have been with her for many years. According to each person’s circumstances, Ms. Thuy will reduce the rent differently. She said: “In the epidemic, people who work are unemployed, business people are sluggish… Therefore, their income has also decreased a lot. How can I collect enough rent? I try to reduce the rent, rent the premises so that they can help some or that part. Right now, I just want to help workers overcome the pandemic so that they can stabilize their lives and send money back to their hometowns.” Like Mrs. Thuy, Mr. Hieu said, he always considers the people who are renting with him as “family members”. When his “family” was severely affected by the epidemic, he could not sit still. Therefore, even though he knew that he would lose a large amount of income when reducing the rent by 50% for more than 300 people, he still tried to do it.