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QC gov’t to give new housing units to 500 families from ‘danger zones’

By Arlie O. Calalo
04/15/2011 [ tribune.net.ph ]

Around 500 families, particularly those living in danger areas such as waterways and sidewalks, will soon be awarded with decent and comfortable housing units in Quezon City, local officials revealed yesterday.
According to Public Affairs and Information Service Office head Greg Banacia, Mayor Herbert Bautista has just signed a memorandum of agreement with Pag-IBIG Fund chairman Darlene Marie Berberabe and Habitat for Humanity managing director Ricardo Jacinto for the city’s massive and socialized housing and resettlement program.
The signing of agreement coincided with the first meeting of the newly created QC Housing Board led by the mayor as chairman, Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte as vice chairman, Majority Floor Leader Councilor Jesus Suntay and Minority Floor Leader Councilor Eufemio Lagumbay as members, Urban Poor Affairs Office as secretariat, and urban poor organizations such as Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Magkapitbahay ng Manresa, Alyansa ng Maralita sa Nova, Doña Lualhati Cojuangco Homeowner’s Association and Urban Poor Council of Leaders of Quezon City, Banacia said.
Bautista told Tribune the local government’s move was in line with its plan to develop two new major housing projects this year to address the problem of urban settlements in the city.
“Providing pro-poor housing is a flagship program of the current administration which I announced during my first day of office last year,” Bautista said.
To date, the QC government has acquired a 1.58-hectare site in Barangay Payatas for the project that will house 300 to 500 families from danger areas such as sidewalks, roadways, waterways, under transmission lines and on water pipelines.
At the same time, the city government will invest P23 million for the construction of roads, drainages, streetlights and other infrastructure works in the so-called QC eco-village.
The Home Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG is set to provide an easy financing scheme for the beneficiaries over a 30-year period with an average P2,000 as monthly amortization. The Habitat for Humanity, for its part, is committed to assist in housing construction, as well as in sourcing additional funding for the dwelling units.
The affordable housing units are designed for 26 to 40 square meters of row houses. Beneficiaries will include the city’s homeless public school teachers and informal settler families.
The local government believed that the partnership with Pag-IBIG and Habitat for Humanity will foster sustainability of the administration’s housing project by ensuring the return on investment that can finance the next round of low-cost houses.
At present, the city government is also continuously working with the National Housing Authority to avail itself of its ready-to-occupy dwelling units in Southville 8, Barangay San Isidro in Rodriguez, Rizal and in San Jose del Monte in Bulacan, Bautista said. 
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