Creation of PH housing dept urged

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The creation of a housing department should be included in the new administration’s agenda in order to address the country’s housing backlog problem, according to a real estate analyst.

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In an interview last week, Colliers International director of research and consultancy Julius Guevara said a monitoring of the nation’s housing needs should be done in order to address the housing backlog problem.

“It’s really monitoring whether the housing needs are being addressed,” Guevara said.

At present, the country’s housing backlog is estimated at 5.5 million. According to the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Association Inc. (CREBA) 500,000 houses needed to be built annually to be able to solve the backlog.

The monitoring of the housing needs can be done through the creation of a government housing agency, according to Guevara.

“The creation of a department of housing. That has been talked about for so long but has not been implemented,” Guevara said.

The establishment of a Housing and Urban Development Department has been talked about in the past few years.

Last December, the House of Representatives approved on the third and final reading a bill seeking the creation of the department.

Meanwhile, in a separate interview, Vista Land and Lifescapes Inc. president and chief executive office Manuel Paolo Villar said the new administration needs to implement a pro-active housing strategy in order to solve the backlog.

“I think they have to have a very progressive, pro-active housing strategy. I think they should continue the current policies now, that are good for housing, but I think it needs to be made more available. Pag-IBIG needs to be as strong or stronger than it was in order to be a good financing arm for housing. By and large, I think there should be a proactive policy that makes it easier to create more housing,” Villar said.

“So in general, a better regulatory climate for housing, more incentives for housing especially in less developed areas–especially outside of Metro Manila. I think would be needed. I think the housing backlog is even greater outside of Metro Manila. It’s really a big problem,” Villar noted.

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