Sunday, September 1, 2013

OSHDP pushing for socialized housing condominium

The Organization of Socialized Housing Developers of the Philippines (OSHDP) is pushing for the inclusion of the condominium as a socialized housing project through an amendment in Republic Act 7279, paving the way for socialized housing condominiums.

Under the law, socialized housing referred to “housing programs and projects covering houses and lots or home lots only, undertaken by the Government or the private sector for the underprivileged and homeless citizens.”

“Housing for the poor remains sluggish and if the Aquino administration wants to address this problem and provide safer and disaster-resilient communities for the marginalized sector then this will be a significant legislation,” OSHDP President Atty. Ryan T. Tan told BusinessWorld during the second day of the OSHDP and HUDCC 4th national Convention held at Marco Polo Hotel.

Mr. Tan said housing problems in the country remain huge, with 600,000 informal settler families all over the country and 104,000 in NCR alone. The need for housing is also increasing faster than actual production of housing units, he added.

He said amending the law will encourage private sector developers to build 5-story socialized housing condominiums that can house hundreds of people compared to only a few families that occupy horizontal housing developments. With buildings or condominiums included in RA 7279, private sector developers will be able to build socialized housing condominiums and include them as their compliance under Section 18 which requires developers to allocate 20% of their project area or project cost to socialize housing.

“Private sector developers will also be able to enjoy the tax exemptions once socialized housing condominiums are included in the law,” he said.

Mr. Tan said such legislation is very timely because climate change has compelled the government to do something about the informal sectors especially in Metro Manila.  Providing incentives to private developers has a social benefit because it will give the government an option when it comes to relocating the informal sectors living near the waterways and in esteros, he said.

By now, he said, it is obvious that relocating the informal sector outside of Manila is not working because they just flock back to Mania and sell the land or home lots awarded to them. In-city or on-site development for urban centers is the way to go, he added.

He said lots in Manila and in other major cities are expensive but somehow, private developers will be able to lower the cost with socialized housing condominiums.

OSHDP has submitted its proposal to HUDCC and is willing to initiate the filing of the proposed bill that will not only make condominiums more affordable to the marginalized sector but will also help the government solve its problem on the informal sector.

Engr. Carol R. Angel, Regional Manager of the National Housing Authority, said they are supporting OSHDP’s move because this will greatly benefit not only Metro Manila but also urban areas like Davao where there are no socialized or even lost cost condominiums. 

“Low income earners do not want to be relocated far from their workplace because that will be double expenses for them in terms of living allowance or transportation cost,” she said.

Mr. Tan said it cannot be denied that there is a gap between policy statements and actual housing related government programs for the poor. Private sector participation is always at its highest when state policies call for it, he said, and this legislation will be effective in bridging this gap.

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