Govt urged to hike funds for low-cost housing


THE government should increase its funding for low-cost housing to help address the country’s 5.7-million housing backlog, a property developer said.

In a statement over the weekend, Hausland Development Corp. CEO Christopher Ryan Tan said the country’s toughest housing challenge is the socialized housing segment, where houses sold at P450,000 or less fall under, as few banks would be willing to lend to it.

“The reason for that is [the]segment is perceived to be the least capable of paying and [have]the highest risk,” he added.

A bracketing outline from the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council showed residences not valued over P3 million are considered affordable housing.

Units priced from P1.7 million to P3 million are considered low-cost; those between P450,000 and P1.7 million, economic; and those below P450,000, socialized housing.

Units priced from P3 million to P6 million are mid-cost, while those costing more than P6 million are high-end.

“We need the government to come in, because if private banks would be hesitant to provide financing for the low-end market, the government’s role, really, is to increase available funds” for them, Tan said.

Citing a government study, he noted that the country’s housing deficit is estimated to swell to 7.67 million over the next four years from the current 5.7 million, as both private and public sectors produce fewert than 200,000 units annually for the past five years.

“In other words, in the eyes of the government, that’s how many households would direly need housing provision or housing units. And that is a huge number,” Tan said.

“It’s somewhere between 168,000 and 190,000 a year, so when you do the math, considering that population grows, it seems that you would not be able to catch up. So that’s really a huge problem,” he added.


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