CREBA supports new balanced housing law

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The Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Associations, Inc. (CREBA), is optimistic the newly passed Balanced Housing Program Amendment Act will help lessen the country’s housing backlog, the group said in a statement.

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CREBA National President Charlie Gorayeb noted that Republic Act 10884 or the Balanced Housing Program Amendment Act will make current housing laws work by ridding the Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA) or Republic Act 7279 of 1992 of stumbling blocks to socialized housing production.

“Section 18 of UDHA which set forth the balanced housing program mandated subdivision developers to build socialized housing equivalent to 20 percent of their total project area or cost,” Gorayeb said. “Owners and developers of condominium projects were exempted, thus measures were filed in the 16th Congress to include them.”

Gorayeb described the 20 percent quota as “unrealistic” to effectively elicit compliance.

“The reduction of the quotas to 15 percent for subdivisions and 5 percent for condominiums through RA 10884 now makes it feasible,” Gorayeb explained.

CREBA said the newly passed law will encourage developers to put up medium-rise socialized condominiums in urban area nationwide to lessen workers’ daily suburban commute and traffic congestion, while optimizing land use, manpower productivity, and business efficiency.

Meanwhile, CREBA national chairman Noel Toti Carino said alternative modes of compliance with the quota include development of new settlements; joint-venture initiatives between two real estate developers or with either local government units or housing agencies; and community mortgage program.

“This is good because any alternative compliance not yielding new housing units should not be allowed or encouraged,” Carino said.

CREBA noted that the passage of the new law allows the promotion long-term, affordable home loans by updating the socialized and economic housing categories.

“The clear mandate of RA 10884 that the socialized housing certification issued by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board shall be sufficient for availment of tax exemption will bring big relief to real estate developers all over the country,” CREBA said.

The amendment of the Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA) of 1992 is part of CREBA’s 5-point agenda for housing, which pushes for related policy and legislative reform proposals aimed at raising housing production to the level of 500,000 units per year over a timeline of 20 years.

This is in line with addressing the country’s estimated housing backlog of 5.5 million units.

Other legislative proposal that are part of CREBA’s 5-point agenda are the Amendment of the Comprehensive and Integrated Shelter Finance Act (CISFA) of 1994; the creation of a National Land Use Policy; the creation of a local housing board for each city and municipality; amendment of the purpose-related provisions of the Local Government Act of 1991; and the creation of a Department of Housing and Urban Development (DHUD).

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