By Ben Rosario
The chairman of the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development has asked the National Housing Authority to declare null and void thousands of transactions for the transfer of housing units and lots sold by original beneficiaries of government socialized housing programs.
The call is embodied in House Resolution 1906 that Negros Occidental Rep. Albee Benitez filed in order to put an end to housing’s the boom and bust situation blamed mostly to so-called “professional urban poor community settlers”.
Benitez said the NHA should learn from lamentable experiences that saw the transformation of a number of government urban poor relocation sites into middle-class communities due to the unlawful sale of housing units meant for the poor.
The senior administration lawmaker noted that there remain many cases where socialized housing units and lots are being sold by original beneficiaries of government housing projet.
He noted that this practice has hindered the success of government’s housing program.
“The NHA should conduct a thorough investigation to identify the housing units that have been disposed by the original beneficiaries through sale or lease; and declare as null and void the transactions with the original beneficiaries as provided by law,” Benitez stated.
Under Republic Act no. 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act, socialized housing units, including its improvement, cannot be “sold, alienated, conveyed, encumbered or leased by any beneficiaries.
Benitez cited Section 14 of the law that provides that “the unlawful sale, transfer or disposition of the lot awarded shall be null and void and the beneficiary will lose his/her right to the land.”
He urged the NHA to develop a mechanism that would transfer the rights for housing units from owners who have been proven to have unlawfully dispose of the house and lots awarded them by the government.
Such mechanism should prioritize the actual occupant of the housing units disposed by the original awardees as the new beneficiaries who will get new contracts with the NHA.