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Housing dept proposed

August 5, 2013

Sen. Loren Legarda said on Sunday she has proposed the creation of a new department to take over the housing-related functions of several agencies and address the four million housing backlog, which represents one fourth of the population.

She said the proposed Department of Housing and Urban Development (DHUD) would take over the functions of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and the planning and regulatory role of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board.

“It will cover all housing and urban development concerns, primarily focusing on the access to and affordability of housing and related basic services vital to human needs,” Legarda said.

Legarda’s bill was intended to eliminate duplication in the government’s housing program. It will also minimize paperwork for homeowners and home buyers.

The bill also cites the need for government to consider proximity to job sites and economic opportunities in developing housing programs for the poor.

Legarda said the challenge for the housing sector is the increasing urbanization rate which is projected to account for 70 percent of the population by the year 2015.

“The Philippine housing sector is facing enormous challenges, including the issues of ever-increasing need for affordable housing, limited access to financing, the need for more sustainable solutions, and more recently, the need to relocate families to safer grounds on account of increasing threats of disasters,” she said

Vice President Jejomar Binay, the housing czar, said 4,800 houses were ready for occupancy in resettlement sites in Trece Martirez in Cavite, San Jose del Monte, Bocaue, Norzagaray and Pandi in Bulacan for squatter families living in waterways in Metro Manila.

“Informal settler families can now sleep tight in their new homes even during harsh weather,” Binay said.

He said an initial batch of families living along the San Juan River will be re relocated next week to San Jose Heights in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, one of the resettlement sites.

“These families will now have peace of mind knowing that their new homes will be safe from being swept away by flash floods,” Binay said.

Source: Manila Standard