The country’s largest real estate and housing group asked the government to form a full-fledged department to address the perennial and increasing housing backlog.
The Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Associations Inc. made the call after the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council announced that the housing shortage reached at least 6.57 million units last year.
“The backlog couldn’t have risen to this level had Creba’s long-proposed Department of Housing and Urban Development bill been enacted into law. Only a full-fledged department can consolidate government efforts to attain our national housing goals with a Housing Secretary clothed with ample powers, functions and corresponding administrative accountabilities implementing a clear and sustainable housing vision,” said Creba national chairman Charlie Gorayeb.
The DHUD bill has been pending in Congress for more than two decades.
Gorayeb said while several Philippine presidents certified the creation of a housing department an ‘urgent bill’, the proposed measure lagged behind in the legislative mill.
Creba national president Noel Toti Cariño said housing and urban development was not just about the creation of residential structures and communities.
“It involves planning, finance, regulation, resource allocation, administration, production, and many other activities to ensure a highly-beneficial, cost-efficient, growth-oriented and sustainable national housing program,” he said.
The two Creba leaders said that with only a coordinating council at the moment, the national housing program was losing the keen attention and priority it deserved. A study by the Asian Development Bank showed that government spending for housing was less than one percent of its total budget and the lowest in Asia.