After posting significant milestones in our first year of operation as a department in 2020, we at the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) along with our major accommodation agencies (KSAs) have maintained the positive momentum this year with a range of achievements aimed at further strengthening the country’s housing and real estate sector.
Despite limitations attributable to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges, DHSUD has maintained housing production and even exceeded 2020 data in terms of home loan underwriting.
The National Home Mortgage Finance Corp., in its quest to become the country’s leader in the secondary mortgage market, continued to expand its innovative programs such as the BALAI Berde, the Mabuhay program and the Home and Shelter programs.
Meanwhile, the National Housing Authority and the Social Housing Finance Corp. have supported the production of housing units with their various programs, including permanent shelters for families of internally displaced persons in the town of Marawi, with 620 housing units already allocated to beneficiaries.
It only shows that more and more Filipinos are becoming homeowners amid and despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Housing assistance, roadmap
Travel restrictions caused by the health crisis did not prevent us from engaging with local government units (LGUs) to expand housing assistance. So far, we have signed 21 MoUs with various LGUs to support their housing programs, which would benefit more than 5,000 families.
In addition to this, we have approved the 20-year National Housing and Urban Development Plan to institutionalize plans and strategies developed in close collaboration with all stakeholders, especially the private sector. This will serve as a roadmap towards having “sustainable housing and well-planned communities for all Filipinos”.
While focusing on the importance of urban planning and innovations with the modalities of housing programs like rental and microfinance, the Department also continued to assess existing housing and real estate policies, and developed new ones to address the challenges posed by the pandemic and climate change. This was done in close collaboration with private developers to ensure synchronized efforts towards a more dynamic housing sector.
In addition, the comprehensive land use plans of the towns of Ormoc, Mandaue and Zamboanga, and the provincial development and physical framework plans of the provinces of Southern Leyte, Leyte, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque and Southern Cotabato have been approved by the Department to ensure the safety, sustainability and resilience of all human settlements and urban developments while maximizing the potential of our natural resources with a focus on disaster mitigation.
Protect Home Buyers
To protect homebuyers and strengthen our campaign against real estate crooks, a Joint Circular Memorandum (JMC) with the Ministries of Home and Local Government (DILG), Justice (DOJ), Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Land Registry (LRA), Professional Regulatory Commission and other government agencies has been signed. This paved the way for the creation of an interagency task force, led by DHSUD, to deal with questionable personalities involved in illegal activity.
Along with DILG, DHSUD also spearheaded the creation of a JMC on the Federation and Confederation of Homeowners Associations to maximize the potential of over 25,000 registered HOAs in contributing to nation building.
These are just a few of our major accomplishments in our second year of full operation.
All in all, I can safely say that we have already overcome the pains of childbirth and are now trying to move towards resilience and sustainability in the housing and urban development sector.
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