Gov’t eyes perks for rental housing
The government seeks to develop rental housing in the country by considering sweeteners for property developers that will offer this type of product, which is seen to provide shelter for people who can’t afford yet to buy their own homes.
Angelito Aguila, officer in charge director of the real estate development and regulation bureau of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Developments (DHSUD), cited ongoing talks with the Board of Investments (BOI) to include rental housing in the Strategic Investment Priorities Plan, entitling developers to incentives.
During a recent forum organized by the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA), Aguila added that the government could also consider rental housing as compliance by developers to a regulation mandating them to allocate a portion of their project portfolio to socialized housing.
“Rental housing is being considered as an option for those who cannot afford homeownership right away and will form part of the country’s 20-year housing road map,” Aguila said.
Aguila said the country’s huge housing backlog could not be covered just by offering housing units for sale, whether under economic or socialized housing.
“We have to come up with other modes of secured tenure in housing,” he said, adding that in the agency’s housing road map, “we can grant usufruct for housing for those who are not yet ready for homeownership in terms of affordability and preference … by providing temporary rental housing.”
Usufruct refers to a temporary right to use and derive income or benefit from someone else’s property.
Rental housing is also something that the private sector could undertake with local governments, Aguila said. One way to make land available for housing, he said, would be to unlock idle government land.
“We hear developers saying there is not enough land. The government has plenty of idle and readily available land. We can utilize these to increase housing production for the informal sectors and even for the private sector or in partnership. If we really have to increase our housing production, we have to make our land accessible and utilizable,” he said.
In the same forum, May Rodriguez, president of SHDA, said idle lands could be used to develop housing for rent to government employees or informal settlers.
“There is a market for rental properties, especially from the working population and even students who live in the province,” Rodriguez said.
SHDA expects the Philippine housing industry to grow this year as developers clear up the backlog that built up during the pandemic.
“In 2020, all private developers experienced a downward trend. Sales were not as good, and collections were a challenge. We understand some of our buyers lost their jobs or shifted their priorities. Fortunately, toward the end of 2020 and 2021, many developers were able to recover, but not yet to prepandemic levels. Private developers were able to accomplish 50 to 70 percent of what they were doing prepandemic, and I think the outlook is that it will continue to improve in 2022,” Rodriguez said.
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