HLURB asks developers to answer need for socialized housing units

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

WITH more people from disaster-stricken areas coming over to Cebu to seek shelter, the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) 7 is encouraging developers to put up more socialized housing projects.

HLURB 7 Director Alixes Roy Lopez said in a recent interview that the demand for socialized housing is very much present nowadays, especially with the recent calamities that hit the Visayas since October.

“Developers should now focus on economic and socialized (housing) because it is easier to market, with people from other places affected by the earthquake and typhoon coming over here,” Lopez said.

Houses for economic housing projects should not exceed P1.25 million, including the land, while a house-and-lot package under socialized housing projects should not cost more than P400,000 each.

Lopez added that the 4.5 million housing backlog only goes to show that there is indeed a big demand for affordable housing units.

“We can’t trim down our present housing backlog if no one will construct new dwelling units under socialized housing. At least 80 percent of the 4.5 million requires socialized housing,” explained Lopez.

He said that with a number of projects constructed this year and in recent years, what is really required is to align supply with demand.

Last year, HLURB 7 reported that there were 10 economic housing projects worth P1.46 billion in total; for this year, there were only seven projects with a total worth of P854.9 million.

Meanwhile, for socialized housing, the number of projects increased yet the project cost decreased. In 2012, there were three projects with a total cost of P493 million; in 2013, there were five projects amounting to P187 million.

“The decrease in project cost is due to the strict implementation of section 18 of Republic Act 7279 (Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992), where we require developers to construct the 20 percent compliance housing projects within the main project sites,” Lopez said.

Lopez added that HLURB 7 has discouraged the “recycling of units” where developers only buy existing housing units for compliance instead of constructing their own.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 28, 2013.


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