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Low-cost housing target set at 1M units/year


THE Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) said it hopes to augment the affordable housing stock by 1 million homes a year, including those built by the private sector.

The target was set to address the housing backlog, estimated at 6.5 million homes, the department said.

Secretary Jose Rizalino L. Acuzar said on the first day of the 30th National Developers Convention that President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has issued a directive to implement the ‘Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pilipino’ program.

“Kailangan gumawa ng gobyerno, sa utos ni Presidente Marcos, ng 1 million houses a year para matapos ang backlog ng housing (The government, on President Marcos’ orders, needs to build 1 million homes per year to clear out the housing backlog),” Mr. Acuzar told reporters.

The program focuses on affordable and accessible homes in selected areas, with the goal of clearing up the backlog before Mr. Marcos steps down. The program will require P1 trillion to realize at a cost of P1 million per home, which will need to be subsidized.

The DHSUD proposes a subsidy budget of P36 billion a year to cover the difference between commercial mortgage rates and the expected preferential interest for home buyers of 1%.

“The intention is to bring interest rates to 1%, so that’s where the interest subsidy will come in. The market rate that we’re looking at for this marginalized sector is 6%,” Human Settlements Undersecretary Roberto Juanchito T. Dispo said.

“The subsidy (of) P36 billion, will cover the 5%, so effectively it be just down to 1%,” Mr. Dispo added.

DHSUD also plans to tap the private sector to participate in the Pambansang Pabahay program.

“The idea is not to be dependent fully on the government. The idea is to tap the private sector to participate in this program,” particularly banks, Human Settlements Undersecretary Henry L. Yap said on the sidelines of the event.

“Private banks have already signified their intention but it’s not yet in writing. But for government institutions (we have signed) memoranda with many of them,” Mr. Yap said.

“We’ve been going around talking to the developers. They have expressed their support for this project. The SHDA (Subdivision and Housing Developers Association) is one of the housing organizations that we’ve been meeting with and many of them have expressed support,” Mr. Yap said. — Justine Irish D. Tabile

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