HOUSE Representative Michael Romero of the 1-Pacman Party-list has filed a bill to create the Department of Housing and Urban Development (DHUD) to directly address the problem of providing affordable housing for the poor.
“To date, there are housing backlogs that needs to be addressed and the creation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development will concentrate government’s efforts to resolve this,” said Rep. Romero, son of construction magnate Reghis Romero II.
Under his proposed bill, the powers of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) will be consolidated under the DHUD to give them more teeth in policy making.
Romero noted that HUDCC, which has an oversight function and overall coordinator of government policies for the housing setor, has limited resources and authority while the HLURB has a bigger role in providing town planning assistance to local governments, real estate management and regulations and adjudication of cases involving buyers in subdivisions and condominiums, and disputes of homeowners associations.
“The HLURB has vast powers while the HUDCC chair has limited authority in policy making. The DHUD will address this weakness,” Romero explained.
The bill also mandates that key shelter agencies National Housing Authority (NHA), Home Guaranty Corporation (HGC), National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC), Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), and Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) will remain to operate under their present mandate but will be attached to DHUD for policy and program coordination.
“Basically, the function of the DHUD is to address the housing problem in urban centers and resettlement areas in coordination with the private sector,” he said.
The DHUD will formulate the national and urban development and housing policy and strategy to ensure consistency with the Philippine Development Plan and the National Physical Framework Plan to promote social and economic welfare.
It will supervise and integrate all government activities related to housing and urban development, and come up with efficient housing finance policies.
The department will also manage and oversee the development of proclaimed housing sites including the use of land as resources to raise funds in developing new housing projects that will serve as central relocation sites for informal settlers.
It can also enter into contracts, joint venture agreements and public-private partnerships regarding housing.
The department will also help local governments in housing and urban development and management to strengthen the roles of provinces, cities and municipalities as primary agencies for urban development.
The bill also proposes the establishment of the Special Housing Fund (SHF) that will come from the real property tax that will be used exclusively for housing and urban development.
Homeowners, homeowners associations, and condominium units owners’ associations/corporations will be registered and regulated under the proposed department.
“The DHUD will have the mandate to lead housing and urban development in the country with focus on providing affordable housing for the marginalized sectors,” Romero said.