52 socialized houses turned over to the city

PROPERTY developer DMCI has turned over 52 housing units to the city government in a ceremonial turnover held Wednesday morning, City Administrator Zuleika Lopez said.

 The housing units were the 20% counterpart of a development project of DMCI in the city, Lopez said, referring to the provision of the law where companies are tasked to set aside 20% of their developments to socialized housing projects.

 Receiving the houses on behalf of the city was Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

 The project was in partnership with non-profit organization Gawad Kalinga and located at the Los Amigos relocation site.

 In an interview, Lopez lauded the means of organizations such as GK in encouraging responsibility and accountability for the new homeowners who would now be living in the area.

 “Housing is a backlog, not just for Davao City,” Lopez said. “It’s a problem of the entire country.”

 “We’re lucky that there are groups like this that help the city address the matter. But of course there are many other problems, but it’s a step in the right direction.”

 The city committed the lots at the Los Amigos site, while DMCI provided the construction materials. GK, for its part, led the construction alongside stakeholder partners such as the would-be homeowners.

 Lopez said that the “template” used by GK should be propagated by other local government units, including undertakings that homeowners sign upon receiving the housing units.

 In other housing projects, there were instances where the owners would sublease or rent their donated homes.

 “So yun ang dapat ipropagate,” Lopez said.

 A housing and real estate group that the housing backlog in the country numbers in the hundreds of thousands.

 While local governments have been complaining about the issue, officials of real estate groups said that the local governments need to shape up as well, as current processes leave the approvals to the city council instead of technical experts such as the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).

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