Housing developers seek P24-B state subsidy for tenements for the poor

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 13 October)– The country’s association of housing developers are seeking a government subsidy reaching P24 billion to build multi-level building tenements “for those who cannot afford” to acquire even the lowest-priced socialized housing unit.

The amount would be allocated annually until 2016 as the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association, Inc. (SHDA) also set a target of constructing a total of one million units, including the mid-rise tenement buildings, over the same period.

The target number of housing units would reach a total of 10 million units by 2030, the lifespan of a roadmap that SHDA presented in the recent plenary of the 2012 SHDA-HUDCC National Convention here at the Marco Polo Hotel.

Paul H. Tanchi, SHDA president, said that the subsidy would be separate from another set of subsidy to housing developers building subdivisions and housing projects for the rest of the 3.9 million Filipinos currently in need of shelter.

Tanchi said the presentation of the Brazilian model that transformed their slums into an array of affordable but presentable mid-rise tenement buildings could provide a new inspiration in approaching the construction of tenement buildings for “those who earn below P78,000 annually.”

He said this segment of the population consisted of those who have no account with the Pag-ibig Fund, which centralizes all housing contributions of members and counterpart share of the employers, and those cramped in the slum areas.

The project construction of tenements would fall under the category of “socialized urban/public housing,” a subcategory of the government’s socialized housing. This subcategory would not allocate a detached, or one lot-one house unit for an individual but it would house several families under one building at an affordable rent determined by a designated government shelter agency.

The SHDA estimates that 832,000 Filipinos are under the category “of those who cannot afford to own a house.”

The cost of constructing the tenement buildings would be assumed by the government through an agreed payment rate and taken from the P24 billion subsidy, Tanchi said. “The renter would pay to the government, not to the developers.”

He said that the Brazilian tenement building models, with various designs and colors placed alongside each other, would be taken into consideration, as well as the concept of building these tenements where the slum communities are also found.

Anaclaudia Rossbach, a Brazilian consultant with the World Bank, presented the Brazilian model in her talk “Taking a Look at Brazil Experience on Housing Development.”

She presented snapshots of former slum communities in hills and coasts, and how the Brazilian government tapped architects to design the rows of tenements and slope protection.

Based on the HSDA roadmap entitled the Philippine Housing Industry Plan 2012-2030, the backlogs had reach 3.9 million as of last year, and would hit 10.1 million by 2030, based on its computation of another 6.2 million housing needs “given the current capacity and [if] without a comprehensive program.”

To address it, the roadmap targets to construct one million units between 2012 and 2016, another two million units in 2017-2022, and seven million units in 2023-2030.

The roadmap was crafted with the help of the Center for Research and Communication of the University of Asia and the Pacific. (MindaNews)