Govt to earmark P11B for housing

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THE government is allocating a total of P11 billion to fund various housing projects not only to give Filipinos temporary shelter during emergencies but also to enable them to acquire their own homes, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said on Monday.

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In a statement, the budget agency said the amount is part of the Social Services allocation in the 2015 General Appropriations Act.

The DBM stressed that the government will need funds to relocate vulnerable Filipino families living in danger zones as preparation against the impact of climate change.

The National Housing Authority (NHA) and the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), it explained, will have a shared budget of P7.3 billion to relocate to better communities15,862 families affected by infrastructure projects or living in danger zones.

The NHA will also have a budget of P577 million to move 7,215 informal settler families (ISFs) residing in danger zones to safer areas.

In case of disaster, the budget agency said NHA will have an allocation of P736 million to give as emergency housing assistance—including the provision of housing materials assistance—to 26,426 victims of calamities.

Meanwhile, the SHFC will be assisting 16,500 families to acquire their homes with a budget of P1.0 billion coming from the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government has a part to play as well. With an allotment of P1.2 billion, it will help provide informal settler families with housing units as well as rental assistance to beneficiary-families.

The budget agency added that the 2015 National Budget has an allotment of P100 million to provide housing for 341 families of uniformed personnel, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and the Bureau of Corrections.

“The Administration is ensuring Filipinos’ universal right to housing by giving them a chance to own their own homes. What’s more, placing them in safe communities where they can live and work is a proactive approach to safeguard our people from natural disasters,” Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad, said.

He stressed that the government’s efforts to give opportunities to its people isnot limited to job-generation, but also a chance for homeownership.

Abad said the initiative is an important part of the inclusive growth agenda of the government.

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