NHA houses over 80,000 informal settlers in 2013

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THE government was able to provide housing for 80,908 informal settler families (ISFs) across the country last year, 44% more than the 56,221 families it served in 2012, Vice President and housing czar Jejomar Binay said.

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The P26.985-billion National Housing Authority (NHA) programs resettled informal settler families living along danger areas in Metro Manila; those affected by infrastructure projects in Metro Manila and those living in danger areas in adjacent provinces; regional resettlement for local government units and indigenous peoples; and through the Community Mortgage Program (CMP) of       the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC).

In a statement, Binay said that under the in-city housing prog–ram, 12 low-rise building pro–jects are in various stages of construc–tion on NHA and local government unit-owned pro–perties and are expected to benefit some 6,560 families.

So far, 876 units in Smokey Mountain, Manila and Disiplina Village, Valenzuela City have been completed and are ready for occupancy, while construction of the rest of the units is ongoing and are expected to be finished by the middle of 2014.

Off-city housing also continued to be provided, particularly for families interested in house and lot packages. Some 18,564 units of these were built at NHA housing sites/settlements last year.

The SHFC meanwhile imple–mented the High Density Housing (HDH) Program which provides funding for land acquisition, site development and housing construction proposals initiated by the affected families and communities themselves.

The program was designed to complement the NHA program for ISFs in danger areas in Metro Manila. For 2013, the SHFC board had approved five projects to benefit 2,786 informal settler families on funding of more than P290 million.

Another 8,008 units were put up in NHA resettlement sites for families affected by government projects such as the R-10 and C-5 Northern Link road projects, various infrastructure projects in Quezon City, Philippine Ports Authority and NAIA Express–      way projects, and for families in danger areas in Bulacan, Pam–panga, Laguna and Rizal.

The regional resettlement projects benefited from a higher budget allocation and the greater participation of local government units in the implementation of 124 projects aimed at addressing resettlement requirements of local government units outside Metro Manila.

As a result, the year 2013 saw a total of 11,709 units in regional resettlement projects in Northern and Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, Bicol, Visayas, and Mindanao.    neil A. alcober

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