• Homeowners control completed projects

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    PROJECTS built by Habitat for Humanity Philippines (HFHP) have already been turned over to private homeowners, or beneficiaries of building projects between HFHP and local governments and non-government institutions.

    The Habitat explained that once turned over, it does not anymore dip its hands into the funds and leases being collected by either the homeowners or local government units, that usually own the land, for such turned over units.

    Complaints reaching The Manila Times from some homeowners—usually belonging to the marginalized sector—that they are being collected some fees and rentals long after they have paid for their units.

    But Habitat insiders said they are not aware of a Habitat official in the projects completed still holding office there or collecting fees for that matter since “these are now in the full management of the homeowner association or the local government units that usually own the lands where the Habitat project had been built.”

    Usually, the LGUs owning the lands collect from the homeowners as the beneficiaries are leasing the land for about 25 years, the insiders explained.

    Definitely, those collecting such fees or rent are not our people as we ask them to pull out from a project once fully completed, they said adding that the headquarters in Makati has not received complaints from project beneficiaries in Metro Manila.

    Our funds undergo the tightest scrutiny and audit because most of our operational funds are donations of private groups and individuals here and abroad, who exact nothing less than transparency and accountability from each of us, they stressed.

    Data from the website of HFHP showed that the Habitat has had 32,000 families living in its project sites all over the country. These families have benefited from the “partnership housing” where those in need of decent shelter participate centrally in the process by helping build, then buy, their homes.

    Their monthly mortgages are “recycled” in a Fund for Humanity and used to build more homes for other families. The repayment is Habitat’s way of  “paying it forward” to help another family have a place they can call their own.

    Through sweat equity, home partners build their homes and those of their neighbors aside from volunteers of Habitat, private individuals and groups rendering hours in physical construction.

    Habitat affiliates, or those with projects and programs in their respective communities, have their own decision-making bodies but are made to comply with standards of excellence set by Habitat International. Such affiliates include: Rizal Province Habitat for Humanity Foundation Inc (HFHFI); Quezon Coco-Palm HFHFI; Bicol HFHFI and Midsayap HFHI.
    Current projects of Habitat are Bistekville I in Payatas, Quezon City; Calaanan Phases II and III in Cagayan de Oro City; Pedring Relocation Site in Tanza, Navotas City; Indahang Phases I and II in Cagayan de Oro; Xavier Ecoville in Lumbia, CDO and Monico Homes in Panabo City, Davao del Norte.

    For the past 23 years, Habitat provided homes for 32,000 families, built and enabled more than 170 communities and completed over 300 classrooms and community centers, Habitat’s website said.
    Houses built by Habitat are single detached; duplex; medium rise buildings, rowhouses and walk-up apartments

    Houses are designed based on the available lands, number of families to be accommodated and the need and capacity of future home partner families. In certain sites, outside of Metro Manila, there are single detached houses or duplex structures.

    For urban centers, row houses, walk up apartments or medium rise buildings are designed to be able to build for more families.

    Flagship programs, attuned to the vision 2020 of the government, are rebuild for disaster response, relief and shelter repairs or total relocation and rehabilitation; raising awareness and advocacies and youth leadership development.

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