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Housing group seeks gov’t help to survive


[ Malaya.com.ph ] June 25, 2009

BY ALBERT CASTRO

The Subdivision Homes and Developers Association (SHDA) yesterday reiterated their appeal to the government to extend a P30 billion stimulus package that would ensure the survival of the real estate industry in the face possible defaults and reduced demand.

Bansan Choa, SHDA president, said the group is working with the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) for the passage of a measure that will provide "subsidized interest rates" for new unit buyers and a "deferred payment scheme" for delinquent existing buyers.

Choa said their proposal is for these measures to run for the next two year.

SHDA is requesting the government to provide additional cuts in interest rates charged by state-owned agencies apart from the already low interest rate pegged by the Pag-IBIG fund.

Choa said a subsidy by the government on interest rates will encourage more people to buy units.

The Pag-IBIG in November cut its interest to 6 percent after a series of interest rate cuts that was implemented by the Bangko Sentral.

Under the deferred payment scheme, existing buyers will be given a reprieve in paying their amortizations if they are victims of retrenchments.

The proposal is set for a formal presentation by SHDA to the six attached agencies of the HUDCC, sources said.

Choa said that for now there is no immediate need for the measure but they would like to be assured that the facility would be available when needed. The proposed measure is eyed to be sourced from the government’s P300 billion economic resiliency plan.

Choa said growth in the housing industry will rely mostly on the low-cost housing sector which accounts for about 80 percent of the total real estate market.

Low-cost housing under the SHDA definition are units that sell for not more than P3 million.

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