SHDA: Mass housing key to beating housing backlog
With 505,369 housing units already delivered since coming up with the Philippine Housing Industry Plan in 2012, the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA) will still need 494,631 more to meet its short-term promise of delivering one million homes by 2016.
“We still have three more years and based on our performance: 211,010 units in 2012 and 294,359 units in 2013, we believe we could meet or even exceed the target provided the private sector and the government continue to work together to increase government financing, incentives and speed up approval processes,” said SHDA national president Ricky Celis.
The Philippine Housing Industry Plan: 2012-2030 is an industry roadmap, prepared by SHDA in cooperation with the Center for Research and Communication of the University of Asia and the Pacific, that provides data and other relevant information such as production capacity, affordability, financing needs and regulatory framework.
“Now that we have this roadmap that we are relying on for almost three years, it is now easy for us to see where the needs are,” said SHDA first vice president Armenia Ballesteros.
She explained that for SHDA to contribute more to the housing backlog—currently pegged at over 3.9 million housing units—the organization must look into mass housing.
Based on SHDA’s New Housing Needs profile, the country’s need for socialized housing—homes valued at P450,000 and below—is projected to reach 1.58 million units between 2012 and 2030.
Ballesteros said: “Based on the same data, it is shown that socialized housing is second on the list (next to economic housing) that needs shelter delivery. We will be able to deliver the requirements provided that tax perks will continue to be given for mass housing.”
According to figures from the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, of the 1.88 million housing units the industry has produced from 2003 to 2012, 27 percent of these fell under the category of socialized housing.
SHDA believes that homebuyers will be motivated more if they could avail themselves of homes at a price much lower than the average and be able to get more affordable payment schemes.
Ballesteros said: “We should support the poorest of the poor by way of direct subsidies so they could afford the minimum standard housing unit. Also, we always remind our members that the minimum design standards of their houses for this segment of buyers must not be sacrificed in the name of affordability—they must not only be affordable but must be acceptable.”
Also, SHDA is now coordinating with the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council so that the so-called socialized low-rise buildings could be included, with its own price ceiling, in the definition of socialized housing under Republic Act No. 7279, otherwise known as the Urban Development and Housing Act (Udha) of 1992.
Under the said law, socialized housing only covers houses and lots or home lots that are undertaken by the government or the private sector for the underprivileged and homeless citizens.
Moreover, under Udha, housing developers are required to provide at least 20 percent of the total main subdivision area or at least 20 percent of the total project cost for socialized housing.
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