SHDA pushes for better tax incentives

Published August 17, 2022, 5:04 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA) has pushed for the strengthening of the incentives and addressing the price ceilings, especially for socialized housing, to encourage more developers in housing activities and achieve the administration’s housing goals over the next six years.

SHDA raised this suggestion during a meeting with Secretary Jose Acuzar of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) and SHDA officials led by its Chairman George Siy.

During the meeting, SHDA said that strengthening the incentives and addressing the price ceilings, especially for socialized housing, will enhance greater participation in housing activities that had been affected by inflation in materials, skilled labor, and raw land prices.

The 2022 Strategic Investments Priority Plan (IPP), which lists economic activities eligible for tax incentives under the CREATE Law, continued to grant tax perks to mass housing projects based on a specific price ceiling per unit. It also covers in-city-low-cost dwelling projects for lease/rent. For National Capital Region, only in-city low-cost dwellings for lease/rent may qualify for registration.

Aside from tax incentives, SHDA identified access to land, additional affordable forms of finance, and policies on vertical development, as some of the keys for expanding production of housing. This is also in line with the adoption of a rationalized National Land Use Plan that President Marcos Jr. had mentioned in his State of the Nation Address.

SHDA brought up that a National Land Use Plan, with some balancing of the concerns of different sectors, preparation or updates at the national and local levels, would help organize and speed up development by both the government and the private sector in projects throughout the country.

The largest housing organization in the country identified the rationalization of licensing and permitting process as an important priority, and the digitization of the required submissions and payments systems to government offices, and data sharing, would greatly reduce the cost of and time required for doing business, and redound to a more affordable cost of housing.

“We believe that together, we will accomplish many things for the housing industry. We are here to support his programs in any way we can,” Siy said.

For his part, Acuzar traded ideas with SHDA on how to unlock further access to sustainable financing for housing and on how to encourage the participation of other government and private financial institutions in housing finance.

He raised the goals of addressing the housing needs of the lower segment of the population, public housing, and reversing the increasing backlog, as major priorities of this government.

Innovative approaches such as rental housing, cooperative housing, and activities involving the national government, local government units, private sector, and importantly, the communities, were also discussed.

Acuzar said he is exploring programs for the next six years, and assured the DHSUD’s openness to suggestions and continuing participation for SHDA and stakeholders.

These included working hand-in-hand with the local government units, and the beneficiaries, in the maintenance of the housing in their jurisdiction. He also will also explore concepts on community planning to decrease the cost of living for the buyers, enhance employment, and living standards.

“We fully support the President’s appointment of Secretary Jose Acuzar as the new head of the DHSUD and his vision of considerably accelerating Filipinos’ access to affordable shelters, and entering new approaches to urban development throughout the country. We look forward to working with him, in exploring these inspiring ideas, as well as in streamlining processes and policies already started for housing and real estate in the country,” SHDA National President May Rodriguez said.