Affordable Housing for Informal Settlers in DavOr Pushed

DAVAO ORIENTAL – Providing solutions to the problem of homelessness and lack of decent shelters among marginalized families, the Provincial Government is partnering with a national shelter agency that pushes for a new socialized housing program, enabling informal settlers to afford decent homes.

Just recently, focal persons on housing of all ten municipalities and one city of the province have been convened at the Provincial Capitol for an orientation on a new housing program called Community Mortgage Program (CMP).

Facilitated by the newly-formed housing agency Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) which is under the umbrella of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), the CMP is a mortgage financing program which assists legally-organized associations of underprivileged and homeless citizens to develop a tract of land under the concept of community ownership.

“The primary objective of the program is to assist residents of blighted or depressed areas to own the lots they occupy, or where they choose to relocate to, and eventually improve their neighborhood and homes to the extent of their affordability,” explained Neil Josol, Senior Accounts Specialist of the SFHC Davao Branch.

He said that from being a mere corporate program, the CMP became a national program through RA 7279 or known as Urban and Development Housing Act mandating Local Government Units to develop shelter solutions for their constituents.

Unlike its forerunner United Home Lending Program (UHLP) which caters to families with stable and regular incomes, CMP was specifically designed to cater the poor sector who could not afford housing and those who don’t have any fund membership such as Pagibig, Social Security System (SSS), or the government insurance GSIS.

The CMP assists families belonging to the low-income bracket by enabling them avail a loanable amount of up to P 350,000 with a 4.5 percent interest per annum payable for 30 years.

The program’s loan package includes lot acquisition which is secured by the SHFC who pays the landowner of the site occupied by the association or where the community wishes to relocate; site development loan to defray the community association’s basic land development, power and water facilities; and house construction.

Among the priority beneficiaries of the program are legally organized informal settlers living in danger zones, near waterways, near rivers, landslide-prone areas or those susceptible to calamities, and areas affected by government infrastructure projects, among others.

Provincial Housing Focal Person Flor Tabanao said that a Memorandum of Understanding between key stakeholders will be signed on May 15 as the Provincial Government wants to fast-track the program implementation.

A SOLUTION TO HOMELESSNESS

A concrete program to address the perennial problem of homelessness among Filipinos, the CMP is among the many housing solutions offered by the national government under the administration President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Through the program, beneficiaries will be able to have a sense of ownership of the program, knowing that if they follow the process and guidelines, there is no threat of eviction or demolition,” said Joso, adding that through the program, communities are also being empowered.

In Davao Oriental, which covers ten municipalities and one city, there are about 50,000 families who are informal settlers.

Provincial Governor’s Office Chief of Staff Ednar Dayanghirang said that this housing solution is a laudable effort of the government. He said that through the Provincial Government’s partnership with the SHFC, the province will be able to provide decent shelters to its constituents and address the needs of informal settlers who are among the most marginalized in the country.

Aligned to the Provincial Government’s Governance Framework which aims to address poverty through inclusive governance, the program is seen to also address concerns on peace and security which is among the major agenda of Governor Nelson Dayanghirang.  “Addressing poverty means we are also addressing insurgency,” he said.  By Karen Lou Deloso

 

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