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Bill to worsen housing backlog

By Othel V. Campos | Posted on Feb. 07, 2013 at 12:01am
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Housing developers warned on Wednesday that two new proposed bills on national land use policy will constrain new projects and exacerbate the housing backlog that may reach 12.5 million units by 2030.
The Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Association Inc. and the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association Inc. said in a news briefing the current shortage in socialized, economic and low-cost housing stood at 3.5 million units.
“And if nothing is changed, that backlog could balloon to 10 million in 2020 to 12.5 million by 2030,” said SHDA president Paul Tanchi.
“The point here is that we want to expand and supply the shortage but with the passage of the NLUA [National Land Use Act], our hands are tied. All agricultural lands will be forever protected. And there is this uncertainty that application for conversion may not be accommodated in as much as the procedure is just as tedious now,” Tanchi said.
The proposed House Bill No. 6545 provides that land uses should prioritize national parks and strategic agricultural and fisheries and development zones to ensure ecological integrity and promote food security.
A study commissioned by the developers in 2012 showed that from 2001 to 2011, the demand for socialized housing was 1.14 million, but the property sector was only able to supply only 479,765 units.
Demand for economic housing was even higher at 2.5 million, but the supply was only 541,913 units during the period.
The developers said there was also a backlog in low-cost housing, with demand of 704,406, and available supply of only 242,246 units.
On the other hand, medium-cost and high-end housing posted unit surpluses of 250,403 and 224,011 units, respectively.
They said figures did not include the 832,046 households who could not afford to build their own homes.
The Organization of Socialized Housing Developers of the Philippines Inc. and the National Real Estate Association Inc. said the country needed to construct 200,000 to 250,000 houses every year to catch up with the backlog.
The study, however, said to serve the estimated 6.54 million additional demand for 2012 to 2030, the country needed to put up 345,941 housing units per year.
Meanwhile, Creba president Charlie Gorayeb said allied sectors in the construction, electrical, hardware suppliers and the like would be affected by the impending slowdown of the property sector once the proposed bill was approved.
“What we are saying is that allow us to be heard. Let our suggestions and amendments be included in the bill. BPO and tourism are part of real estate. If we have this bill that addresses one side of society only then we might be creating more problems than solving them,” he said.

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