• House approves expanded housing bill

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    The House of Representatives approved a bill that seeks to expand housing sites for the poor on third and final reading on Monday to address the 3.9 million housing backlog in the country.

    House Bill 4382 or the National Land Use measure got the nod of 294 congressmen. Under the proposed law, all cities and municipalities are mandated to provide socialized housing site for the underprivileged and homeless with the corresponding long-term financing, direct subsidy programs and liberalized terms on interest payments.

    The bill, one of the priority measures of the Aquino administration, was authored by Reps. Arlene Bag-ao of Dinagat Islands, Teddy Baguilat of Ifugao and. Bolet Banal of Quezon City, among others.

    The location of resettlement areas may be within the city or municipality, provided that designated settlement and socialized housing areas will consider the proximity and accessibility of the affected community to employment, economic activities and social services.

    The designated sites for socialized housing should be in residential zones and zoned as socialized housing zones that are integrated in the city’s or municipality’s zoning ordinance.

    The measure also tasks each city or highly-urbanizing municipality to identify, designate, and allocate lands owned by the city or municipality as urban forest or green space, based on the guidelines and standards to be issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

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