Housing programs are beyond the reach of the poor either because these are priced too high or they cannot comply with the rigid requirement, Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo said Thursday.
The Vice President said most housing projects are mortgage-based, which means that these are limited to regular employees who are members of the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) Fund.
“In a mortgage-based set up, those in the informal sector won’t have access because these people are not members of Pag-IBIG Fund,” Robredo said in an interview in General Santos City, where she attended an event for indigenous peoples.
Robredo lamented that even if the Balanced Housing Act provides that 15 percent of housing projects should be allotted to the poor, the prices of such projects are still too high for informal settler families.
“Even if you comply with these provisions, it only caters to those who earn enough to pay. We want to change the policy and open these to those who do not have the means to pay,” Robredo, chairperson of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, said. “That is really the intent of the law. It’s just that the implementation is falling short. That’s why we are working on overhauling the policies.”
The Vice President also lamented that the processing and approval of application for house financing takes years.
“We need everybody to take part in this, that’s why I am asking the Habitat for Humanity, Gawad Kalinga, to take an active part. Otherwise, the increase of housing backlog will be at an exponential rate by the end of six years,” Robredo said.