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DHSUD sustains momentum in 2021

After posting significant milestones during our first year of operation as a department in 2020, we, at the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) along with our key shelter agencies (KSAs), sustained the positive momentum this year with an array of achievements aimed to further empower the country’s housing and real estate sector.

Despite the limitations attributable to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges, DHSUD sustained the production of housing units and even surpassed 2020 data in terms of housing loan take-outs.

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The National Home Mortgage Finance Corp., in its pursuit to become the country’s leader in secondary mortgage market, continued expanding its innovative programs like the BALAI Berde, Mabuhay Program, and the Home and Shelter Programs.

Meanwhile, the National Housing Authority and the Social Housing Finance Corp. sustained the production of housing units with their various programs, including permanent shelters for families of internally displaced persons in Marawi City, with 620 units already awarded to the beneficiaries.

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This only shows that more Filipinos are becoming homeowners amid and despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Housing assistance, roadmap

Travel restrictions brought about by the health crisis did not prevent us from engaging with local government units (LGUs) to extend housing assistance. So far, we have signed 21 memorandums of agreement with various LGUs in support of their housing programs, which would benefit more than 5,000 families.

On top of these, we approved the 20-year National Housing and Urban Development Sector Plan to institutionalize plans and strategies that were crafted in close collaboration with all stakeholders particularly the private sector. This will serve as a roadmap aimed at having “sustainable housing and well-planned communities for all Filipinos.”

While focusing on the importance of urban planning and innovations with housing program modalities like rental and micro-finance, the Department also continued to assess existing policies governing housing and real estate, and crafted new ones to cope with the challenges brought about by the pandemic and climate change. This was done in close collaboration with private developers to ensure synchronized efforts towards a more vibrant housing sector.

Further, the Comprehensive Land Use Plans of the cities of Ormoc, Mandaue and Zamboanga, and the Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plans of Southern Leyte, Leyte, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque and South Cotabato provinces were approved by the Department to ensure safety, sustainability and resiliency of all human settlements and urban developments while maximizing the potentials of our natural resources with emphasis on disaster mitigation.

Protecting homebuyers

To protect homebuyers and bolster our campaign against real estate scammers, a Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) with the Departments of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), of Justice (DOJ), the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Land Registration Authority (LRA), the Professional Regulation Commission and other government agencies was signed. This paved the way for the creation of an Inter-Agency Task Force, headed by DHSUD, who will run after dubious personalities involved in illegal activities.

Along with the DILG, DHSUD also spearheaded the crafting of a JMC on the Federation and Confederation of Homeowners Associations to maximize the potentials of more than 25,000 registered HOAs in contributing to nation-building.

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These are just among our major accomplishments during our second year in full operation.

Overall, I can safely say that we have already hurdled the birth pains and are now trying to move towards resiliency and sustainability in the housing and urban development sector.

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