House OKs bill creating new housing department


The House of Representatives has approved a bill that seeks to create a Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development that will be responsible for providing adequate housing.

The House, through a 193-6 vote, approved House Bill 6775 that will merge the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board to form the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development.

The Human Settlements and Urban Development department will implement a rational, well-balanced, orderly and efficient redevelopment of urban communities and the development of new settlements in rural and non-farm areas to assure dwellers of decent and affordable housing, job and livelihood communities, efficient mass transit, public safety, health care, educational opportunities and clean environment.

It will also establish Socialized Housing One-Stop Processing Centers in the regions tasked to centralize the processing and issuance of all required housing-related permits, clearances, and licenses.

The bill defines socialized housing as housing programs and projects covering houses and lots or home lots only or residential condominium units undertaken by the government or the private sector for the underprivileged and homeless citizens—including sites and services development and long term financing.

“This will establish an efficient, effective, comprehensive and integrated national and local housing development program,” the Committee Report on the measure read.

“Likewise, the bill will rationalize and coordinate the functions and powers of the National Home Mortgage Corporation, Home Guaranty Corporation (HGC), Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) and National Housing Authority, (NHA),” it added.


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