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House okays measure on condos for the poor

by Maricel Cruz
[ ] December 26, 2011

The House of Representatives has approved a socialized condominium housing program bill that seeks to help the government address the shelter problem in the country.

With partylist congressman Bernadette Herrera-Dy as one of the principal authors, House Bill 5444 makes it mandatory for condominium developers to adopt a socialized housing scheme in their projects.

The proposal is among the 13 measures that the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council has added to the list of legislative priorities.

Under the bill, owners or developers of condominium projects will be required to develop for socialized housing the equivalent of at least 20 percent of the total condominium area or cost of the project.

At the same time the bill allows covered developers to engage in a joint-venture project with another private developer who will both be solidarily tasked to undertake socialized housing in compliance with the balanced housing requirements of the project.

The bill also seeks to amend Republic Act 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 by adding condominium developers, among those mandated to pursue socialized housing projects.

She said development of education facilities within the project, city or municipality will also be considered as a mode of compliance with the balanced housing requirement.

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

Compliance may be made by investing in resettlement bonds or development of new settlements, according to the bill.

It added that participation in slum upgrading or renewal of areas for priority development; joint venture projects with either the local government unit or any housing agency or community mortgage program may also be considered as compliance to the measure.

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