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Residents of ancient houses known as Nha Ruong are refusing government funding for refurbishment because of the long-term costs of upkeeping such houses and the strict restrictions that are placed on future refurbishment works.

Residents decline funding to save ancient homes
Saigon Giai Phong, 05 Jan 2010

Despite an offer by the People’s Committee of Thua Thien-Hue Province to provide financial assistance to owners of ancient homes for refurbishment efforts, most have declined the help.

The houses, known as nha ruong, are built with artfully carved wooden pillars and bars in the former feudal capital of Hue in the central region. The residences have great cultural significance but are in danger of falling into disrepair and decay if renovations are not carried out.

The local government has offered funding for the upkeep of the ancient homes totaling VND100 million(US$5,400) each to homeowners for renovations and five-year loans of up to VND30 million to plant trees outside the houses.

Residents complain, however, that the actual cost of restoring the houses is much higher than the government subsidies. Due to strict regulations regarding the manner in which renovations are to be carried out on ancient homes, the owners say they would have to pay large sums out of their own pockets.

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