New government department aims to provide affordable housing

By:Arrah Manticajon|July 01, 2019

With the housing backlog still looming ahead, one of the key challenges in real estate in the Philippines is providing access to affordable housing. The government seeks to address this problem with the enactment of a new law. Last February, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act 11201 or the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development Act.

The Philippine News Agency reports that the law aims to aid underprivileged and homeless Filipinos in getting low-cost, decent housing in urban centers and resettlement areas. 

Under the law, there will be a new department called the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHUD) which combines the functions of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board. Various housing agencies like the National Housing Authority (NHA), National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC), Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), and the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) will be attached to the DHUD to coordinate policies and programs. 

One of the main functions of the DHUD is to create housing policies and programs for indigents by working together with the attached agencies. To speed up the implementation of housing projects, the DHUD is tasked with putting up Housing One-Stop Processing Centers (HOPCs), where all housing-related permits, clearances, and licenses are processed and issued. The DHUD is also mandated to determine the ceilings for socialized, low cost/economic and middle-income housing and review these ceilings once every two years while taking consideration of prevailing economic conditions.

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