THE Iloilo City Council recently approved the creation of Iloilo City Local Housing Office (ICLHO) through the passage of Regulation Ordinance 2023-193.
The ICLHO will serve as implementing arm of the policies enacted by the Iloilo City Local Housing Board (ICLHB).
Mayor Jerry Treñas pushed for its creation to reform the Iloilo City Urban Poor Affairs (Icupao) in a bid to improve and upscale its services especially in the implementation of housing programs and projects.
Under the ordinance, the ICLHO will be in-charge of facilitating the application process of qualified beneficiaries as defined by the ICLHB by collecting applications, exercising social profiling through data collection of Informal Settler Families and other qualified beneficiaries, surveying relocation sites and danger areas, and presenting the aforementioned to the ICLHB for assessment and proper action.
It will also monitor the post-awarding process to ensure the consummation of declared policies of the City Government.
To note, Iloilo City currently has an estimated 15,000 housing backlogs that need to be urgently addressed.
It is essential to create a department with the sole function of implementing housing programs and guided by an incorruptible system through the administration of a step-by-step process from screening of applications of qualified beneficiaries to awarding until the post-awarding process.
The ordinance underscored that the department will not possess the authority to select and award housing grants to qualified beneficiaries, but merely to validate and verify their records and qualifications.
In order to check the powers of the ICLHO, the duly constituted multi-sectoral housing board has the authority to select and screen the applicants as well as exercise power in relation to matters pertaining to housing implementation.
As the chief implementer of all housing programs of the city, the ICHLO shall also institute an inventory of all available lands and housing units owned and acquired by the City Government for relocation and housing initiatives; evaluate and monitor completed and ongoing shelter projects for informal settler areas and relocation/resettlement areas in cooperation with beneficiaries, and recommend appropriate actions thereon to the ICLOHB and the City Mayor; and coordinate with the national and local government agencies with regard to various programs pertaining to public housing, among others.
The ordinance takes effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation in Iloilo City. (PR)