Creation of Housing Department pushed

The 16th Congress is urged to create the Department of Housing and  Urban Development (DHUD) to allow the government more efficiency in the coordination of its housing programs.

“Creating the DHUD will promote the efficient management and development of land resources and enhance coordination and integration of plans, programs and projects of the government in housing and urban development,” Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Deputy Secretary General Atty. Wendel Avisado said.

Avisado said the bill creating the DHUD was passed during the 3rd and final reading of the 15th Congress but did not take off in the Senate. Its creation will simplify all the processes required to make the government’s housing programs work.

At present, he said, there are various shelter agencies under the HUDCC umbrella. These include the HDMF or Pag-IBIG which funds the housing of its members, National Housing Authority which produces housing units, SHFC which funds socialized housing for the informal sector, HLURB which regulates and oversees land use plans, NHMFC which mobilizes funds and HGC which guarantees funds.

He said the creation of HUDC is important especially now that the housing sector is faced with many challenges including the urbanization of the Philippines which is now at 49% and is expected to increase to 65% by 2030.

“With urbanization comes critical issues like high poverty incidence, environmental degradation, lack of urban housing and proliferation of slums and informal settlers,
” he said. The country’s housing needs was 3.5 million in 2010 and is estimated to reach 5.7 million units by 2015, he added.

Avisado said the scarce availability of non-flood prone land for socialized housing especially in Metro Manila have compounded the challenges that come with urbanization.

While the HUDCC has adopted strategies to address these issue and concerns, he said, there is still a need to create the DHUD.

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