NHA eyes govt land for Yolanda resettlement

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ALMOST 70 hectares of land that may be developed into settlement sites for Yolanda survivors have been identified by the National Housing Authority (NHA).

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In a report to Vice President and housing czar Jejomar Binay, NHA General Manager Chito Cruz said the agency has identified about 67 hectares of national and government land on which they can build 8,433 housing units.

The NHA, the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and other concerned agencies are fast-tracking the identification of government lands to help displaced families resettle soon.

Cruz added that the NHA and the HUDCC, in coordination with Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Panfilo Lacson, were working vigorously to provide disaster-resilient permanent homes to the survivors of Yolanda.

For his part, Binay said the availability of suitable land remained a concern of the permanent housing program for Yolanda survivors.

He said land development and housing construction are now undertaken in some areas.

“Our mandate is to build disaster-resilient homes for families living in unsafe areas in the 171 cities and municipalities along the 50-kilometer typhoon path,” Binay said.

As chief of the government housing sector, the Vice President heads the Yolanda Resettlement Cluster.

The houses being constructed can withstand 250 kilometers per hour (kph) winds, in accordance with the specifications of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

“About 2,950 of these units are under construction—1,193 in Tacloban City, 366 in Tanauan and 200 in Palo all in Leyte; 896 in Roxas City, Capiz; and 295 in Dumangas, Iloilo,” Binay said.

These projects are being developed in partnership with the GMA Kapuso Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and Gawad Kalinga. The NHA funds and undertakes land development while the NGOs build houses, with NHA augmenting the funding requirement when necessary.

Binay earlier called for stronger cooperation between and among government agencies, the private sector and NGOs to fast-track the provision of permanent housing units to the Yolanda-affected families.

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