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Condominium projects on priority list of Palace, Congress

11/03/2011 [ ]

Approval of a bill making mandatory the participation of condominium developers in the socialized housing program was recently assured by the leadership of the House of Representatives.

Authored by Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, House Bill 3189 was endorsed for plenary approval by the House committee on housing and urban development.

HB 3189 is among the 13 new priority measures that President Aquino recently presented before the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council.

Herrera-Dy said HB 3189 requires developers of condominiums to develop low-cost housing units equivalent to 20 percent of the total condominium area.

But the bill also gives condominium builders an option to allocate 20 percent of the condominium project cost for the development of affordable housing for ordinary Filipinos.

According to Herrera-Dy, the measure seeks to amend Republic Act 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 by adding condominium developers to those mandated to pursue socialized housing projects.

Originally, only developers of subdivisions are required to comply with the balanced housing development (BHD).

The BHD may also be carried out by developers in any of the following manner: (a) Development of new settlement; (b) Slum upgrading or renewal of areas for priority development; (c) Joint venture projects with either the local government unit or any housing agency; (d) Participation in the community mortgage program, and (e) Acquisition of resettlement bonds.

In pushing swift approval of the bill, Herrera-Dy explained while the government has been embarking on numerous housing projects for low-income Filipino families, socialized housing remains inaccessible to the poor.

“Demand for housing continues to grow as the Philippine population continues to grow rapidly,” the former QC councilor said.

Herrera-Dy disclosed the housing needs over a five-year period starting 2005 have been projected to be about 3.75 million units.

“With the vertical housing development trend nowadays plus the bigger percentage of housing needs in the urban areas, the share and participation of the private sector in socialized housing has to be re-assessed and restructured to include vertical housing developments, such as condominium projects, to help mitigate, if not eradicate, this backlog of housing needs in the country,” the administration solon said.

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