Incentives offered for rebuilding

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Sunday, April 20, 2014


TO HELP address housing needs in areas hit by last year’s twin calamities, the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) is offering incentives to developers that will put up socialized housing projects in disaster-stricken areas.

In a recent gathering at the City Sports Club in Cebu Business Park, HLURB commissioner and chief executive officer Antonio M. Bernardo discussed with developers the board’s Incentivized Compliance to Benefit Calamity-Affected Areas.

“These guidelines aim to encourage developers of main subdivision projects to avail themselves of the manners and modes of compliance with Section 18 of UDHA (Urban Development Housing Act) that will benefit areas affected by calamities through the immediate reconstruction of dwelling and shelter, development of socialized housing, and provision of facilities, centers, and basic amenities,” the HLURB order said.

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Bernardo said the incentivized compliance will not only help survivors of disasters but will also make it easier for developers to get a license to sell for their main subdivision projects.

Compliance

Before, developers needed to provide outright 20 percent socialized housing compliance upon application for a license to sell for the main subdivision project.

With the HLURB order, Bernardo said developers who will put up projects in calamity areas will only have to put up socialized housing project equivalent to at least five percent of either the total main subdivision area or total main subdivision cost for the initial compliance.

Under Section 18 of R.A. 7279 or the UDHA of 1992, subdivision developers are required to put up socialized housing projects.

The minimum five percent compliance, for example, can be used as a requirement for the issuance of a license to sell for one main subdivision project. If the developer intends to add another five percent, Bernardo said he can use it for the issuance of a license for another subdivision project.

“The five to twenty percent initial compliance may be utilized as initial compliance by more than one main subdivision projects,” Bernardo said.

HLURB regional director Alixes Roy Lopez said areas where developers can put up their socialized projects in Cebu include the northern areas of Medellin, Bogo and Bantayan Island. These areas were severely devastated by super typhoon Yolanda last November.

Bernardo, however, clarified that the developer should complete the 20 percent compliance within the first half of the period of completion of the main subdivision project. Otherwise, corresponding sanctions will follow, which include the suspension of the license to sell of the main subdivision project.

He said developers can also opt to provide educational facilities, health facilities, productivity or livelihood centers in areas affected by calamities as compliance; or they can enter into a joint venture with an HLURB-accredited subsidiary or developer for the production of new socialized housing in calamity affected areas. They can also contribute to an accredited non-government organization for the development of new housing and reconstruction of destroyed or damaged houses.

Accreditation

The incentivized program will also be more open for accreditation.

“A socialized housing developer or an NGO engaged in the development and production of socialized housing units and projects will be exempted from the requirement of 500 housing units built,” stated in the memorandum, providing that the houses are to be built in calamity affected areas.

Under the incentivized procedure, there is no requirement for number of units built to become HLURB-accredited.

Bernardo said HLURB will regularly monitor the developers to guard against the possible failure of socialized housing projects in calamity areas.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 21, 2014.

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