Alternative modes of housing acquisition backed

    Contrast. Rows of shanties are shown against a backdrop of skyscrapers in the horizon in Baseco, Tondo, March 2019. Developers say rental is the recommended mode of housing for the bottom 30 percent of income population. (Photo by RHOY COBILLA).

    Developers are supporting alternative modes for housing acquisition, including a rental housing subsidy program for informal settlers.

    In a statement over the weekend, the Organization of Socialized and Economic Housing Developers of the Philippines (OSHDP) expressed support for House Bill No. 8736 or “An Act Establishing a Rental Housing Subsidy Program for Informal Settler Families and Appropriating Funds Therefor” which will enable informal settler families to gain easier access to affordable housing.

    OSHDP chairman Marcelino Mendoza said rental is the recommended mode of housing for the bottom 30 percent of income population as this mode does not require the lessee to pay the land component, and matches his affordability level.

    “This is his starter home, and later on, the lessee can transfer to purchase mode as his income increases,” Mendoza said.

    OSHDP said it also supports advocacies for public rental housing, and grant of housing vouchers to housing beneficiaries, as provided for under Republic Act No. 11201 which created the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development.

    The group is pushing for the amendments in the definition of  socialized housing by recognizing other multi-modal government programs including alternative rights-based financing, rental and public housing.

    “The organization likewise pushes for the immediate review of the socialized housing price ceilings to further enable the private sector to ramp up its production efforts, which rely heavily on developers’ own funds,” Mendoza said.