• Gatchalian favors creating housing department

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    A Newly elected Senator, Sherwin Gatchalian, will make housing one his agendas as he supports the proposals of a national real estate group for establishing a housing and urban development department within the national government.

    Gatchalian, said the Chamber of Real Estate & Builders’ Associations Inc. (CREBA) in a statement, has expressed support for the group’s five-point agenda for housing.

    CREBA is the umbrella organization of the real estate and housing industries in the country. The five-point agenda for housing it released last year focuses on the country’s 5.5 million housing backlog. Its key concerns include a long-term and affordable funds for socialized and economic housing; affordable homes for employees in urban areas; lands for residential, commercial and industrial development; efficient local government housing regulations; and a fully-fledged housing and urban development department.

    CREBA also released last year five legislative proposals including bills proposing amendment of the Comprehensive and Integrated Shelter Finance Act (CISFA) of 1994, the Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA) of 1992, the purpose-related provisions of the Local Government Act of 1991, as well as creation of a national land use policy, a local housing board for each city and municipality, and a Department of housing and urban development (DHUD).

    These legislative proposals, Gatchalian noted, were poised to make a real impact on Philippine housing policy.

    “I find myself agreeing with many of your proposals,” Gatchalian said. “For one, I think tit is high time that we create the Department of Housing and Urban Development.”

    Creating such a department is something that has been pushed by real estate practitioners for some time.

    Sharing the same sentiment with Gatchalian the director of research and consultancy at Colliers International, Julius Guevara, had said earlier this year that a government housing agency could do monitoring of the housing needs.

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