TO ADDRESS growing concerns on the housing backlog, estimated at more than three million units, an official of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) urged developers to consider socialized condominiums.
HLURB 7 Director Alixes Roy T. Lopez told Sun.Star Cebu that the limited supply of raw land in prime cities and towns should prompt developers to consider the development of medium-rise buildings (MRBs) to comply with socialized housing requirements.
Under Republic Act 7279 or the Urban Housing Development Act, developers are required to allot 20 percent of a housing project’s total cost for the construction of socialized housing units. Each socialized housing unit should have a price of not more than P450,000.
Lopez noted that the development of socialized condominiums in prime cities and municipalities will also ensure that the low-income sectors will not be displaced from their sources of livelihood.
“This is the right time to go medium-rise, instead of developing housing projects that are too far from where they are working,” Lopez said. MRBs stand at not more than five storeys high and are not required to have an elevator, he added.
The official said he has already talked to different mayors in Cebu and has received a
“positive” response. “Developers can tie up with an LGU (local government unit) for the land, provided it is a titled property,” Lopez said.
In Central Visayas, Lopez said Lapu-Lapu City will be the first to nestle a socialized condominium. Heritage Developer Supreme will construct 76 socialized condominium units in Barangay Soong 1.
The developer obtained a development permit in February last year. Early this year, Lopez said, it will be getting a License to Sell (LS) from his office so the developer can start selling the units.
Next month, another developer, Pacific Grande, is scheduled to obtain its development permit from HLURB so it can start the excavation of a property in Barangay Basak in Lapu-Lapu City.
Lopez said it will house nine towers of four storeys each. It will have 1,354 units and 254 slots of basement parking.
One unit, according to Lopez, should not be less than 18 square meters and shall include electrical, plumbing and lavatory facilities. Prices will not go beyond P450,000.
“It started in Lapu-Lapu because the market and the demand is there,” the official said, citing the concentration of economic zones in the area, which employ thousands of workers.
As the concurrent director for HLURB Eastern Visayas, Lopez is pushing for socialized condominiums in the area. He said one developer in Tacloban City is in the process of getting a site development permit for the construction of more than a thousand socialized condominium units.
“Actually, our focus for 2015 is on socialized housing because the demand in that segment is high, especially with the victims of the calamities in northern Cebu and Region 8, now with the 40-meter no-build zone,” the official added.
He envisions that the socialized condominiums will incorporate income-generating activities inside the development.
“We need to have a community that is self-reliant. They (residents) can form a cooperative to augment informal settlers’ income. For example, convert ground floor to commercial and rent it out. What the cooperative earns, it will subsidize the cost of the units,” Lopez said.
However, the director has also expressed concern on the acceptability of socialized condominiums in the region. He said his office is coordinating with home associations to prepare them for such projects.
“Even our LGUs have acknowledged that their supply of land is limited and the cost is going higher. There’s no other way to go but to adopt this project,” the official said.