CAGAYAN de Oro City will need to look for more than 700 hectares of resettlement areas in seven years for about 35,000 households, according to estimates by the task force that oversees the city’s resettlement program.

Engr. Ermin Stan Pimentel, director of Xavier University’s Kristohanong Katilingban sa Pagpakabana (XU-KKP), said the Shelter and Housing Development Multi-Sectoral Task Force made the projection based on the City Shelter Plan of 2014-2022.

The shelter task and housing task force, created by Mayor Oscar Moreno, is composed of various government agencies in the housing sector, including the city’s Estate Management Division (EMD), and private sector groups.

Pimentel said the 34,898 households are composed of families living in no-build and danger zones, families that will likely be affected by government infrastructure projects, and those belonging to the ranks of informal dwellers that are expected to rise with the continuing urbanization of the city.

The housing task force has submitted the shelter plan to the City Council and is awaiting the council’s approval.

Pimentel, who facilitated a meeting of the task force on Wednesday, said the City Planning Division is still in the process of looking for 723.58 hectares for its resettlement program for the next seven years.

“The goal is to have no homeless households in the city,” Pimentel said, adding that the task force has mapped out what needs to be done in the next seven years to provide decent housing for the city’s marginalized sector.

Pimentel said the task force had also recommended that any resettlement program must consider security of tenure issues for beneficiaries, as well as provide housing units that will be resilient to climate change.

Wednesday's meeting was attended by representatives from the National Housing Authority (NHA), Social Housing Finance Corporation(SHFC), the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), City Engineering Office, Xavier University, Habitat for Humanity Philippines and other line agencies, nongovernment organizations and civic groups.

The meeting was done in anticipation of upcoming housing summit on July 22, 2015.

Nenita Pangilinan, shelter officer from Habitat for Humanity Philippines, shared Habitat’s experiences in implementing housing programs in Las Piñas City.

Pangilinan said housing is a basic human right as stated in the Constitution and thus, any program should focus not only in building shelter but also in the development of the people.

Pangilinan also said that any housing program should consider the possible displacement of people from sources of income. For this reason, she said proposed sites should be not more than 10 kilometers from where beneficiaries make their living.