Local government to address huge housing backlog by 2020

THE CITY government is preparing a P40-billion shelter plan for the rising number of informal settlers, according to the chair of a subcommittee on housing.

Councilor Rene Elias Lopez, speaking to reporters Tuesday, said the plan involves the crafting of policies and strategies to be implemented starting 2018 until 2023.

According to Lopez, there’s a huge backlog in the number of homes to be allocated for socialized housing. Among the projections in the coming years is the displacement of around 8,000 families in informal settlements.

The current projection for the housing backlog, according to national agencies, is around 59,000 homes.

Based on current population growth rates, the city expects 123,000 informal settlers by 2020, Lopez said.  The proposed item is currently in discussion at the Local Housing Board, Lopez said.

“It’s a tall order but that is what we are faced right now,” Lopez said. “We are asking for everyone’s cooperation. Hopefully, we can do this.”

At the moment, the city is taking care of a relocation site in Los Amigos in Tugbok.

“We need to acquire more lands and identify more relocation sites,” Lopez said.  “We need to mobilize whatever resources we have on hand. This has to be discussed with the stakeholders.”

To implement the plan, the city is seeking partnerships with at least 10 funding or shelter agencies, such as the Housing Urban Development Coordinating Council, Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG), Subivision and Housing Developers Association, as well as nonprofits such as Habitat for Humanity and Gawad Kalinga.

At the moment, the local shelter agencies are still choosing whether to implement a condo-type vertical structure or subdivision-type relocation sites.

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