P270B annual housing fund pushed


    The Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Associations Inc. (CREBA) is pushing for the establishment of a P270-billion annual fund for long-term housing loans to income earners at low interest.

    At last week’s public hearing on various bills on shelter finance House Bills 3541 and 3837 filed by Rep. Micaela Violago and Majority Floor Leader Martin Romualdez, respectively, CREBA expressed support for the creation of a Comprehensive Home Financing Program (CHFP) that will make all income-earning Filipinos entitled to fixed, low-interest, long-term housing loans whether or not they are members of the Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), or the Pag-lBIG Fund.

    Charlie Gorayeb, CREBA national chairman, said the CHFP will address the country’s 6.57 million housing backlog.

    Under the twin bills, the annual CHFP funding of P270-billion will be sourced through bond investments by the SSS at P25 billion; GSIS at P25 billion; a minimum of P70 billion or all of Pag-IBIG Fund’s investible funds for housing in accordance with their respective charters; P100 billion from the unused or residual agri-agra funds of banks plus a P50 billion government budgetary allocation to serve the informal settlers’ segment for 20 years — all with mandatory guaranty cover from the Home Guaranty Corp.

    The CHFP will exclusive to home loan borrowers with no component for development financing to ensure the use of funds is strictly for shelter acquisition by the homeless.

    If passed into law, the bill amends Republic Act 7835 or the Comprehensive and Integrated Shelter Finance Act of 1994.

    Under the plan, CHFP loans are payable for up 30 years for residential units in subdivisions or medium-rise condominium buildings costing P1.5 million and below at 3 percent fixed interest rate for socialized housing. Loans for housing units costing above P1.5 million up to P3,199,200 for economic housing carry 4 percent interest and shall remain exempt from value-addd tax.

    Under the bills, all income-earning citizens who qualify as beneficiaries under the Urban Development and Housing Act and who have not acquired housing assistance from any government institution shall be eligible for home loans through the CHFP.