DHSUD eyes partnership with urban area land owners for on-site, in-city housing

The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) is eyeing to tap owners of private lands in Metro Manila and other urban areas across the country for the on-site, in-city housing projects that would benefit informal settler families (ISFs) and low-income earners.

The DHSUD has been pushing to construct housing projects near the places of work and sources of livelihood of the beneficiaries. The problem, however, is the space problem in urban areas.

“For a long time, we are not able to provide proper shelters to ISFs living in private properties, especially in urban areas. At the same time, the owners of these lands do not have the opportunity to develop their properties for optimum advantage. With the ‘Pambansang Pabahay’ (national housing), we can achieve both with appropriate planning," said Acuzar.

“I am calling on all private owners of lands in the cities that can be used for government housing development to coordinate with DHSUD so that we can make use of these properties for human settlements and urban development. Allow us to explore prospects which can be mutually beneficial to all parties involved,” he added.

Acuzar said the partnership between the DHSUD and private landowners are beneficial for the land owners and called the partnership a "win-win" solution for the government and land owners.

For instance, land owners could not easily develop their lands due to difficulty in driving away informal settlers that have been inhabiting them, especially on legal aspects.

"Most of these lands are found in the metropolis or in the center of urban areas – some owned by private citizens – where ISFs persistently thrive. What we are pushing through our housing program is ‘advantageous’ to both real estate owners and informal settler families (ISF) currently inhabiting private properties," said Acuzar.

The ‘Pambansang Pabahay’ aims to build one million housing units per year until 2028 as the government’s flagship program in addressing the country’s housing needs. As one of its initial strategies, DHSUD has been exploring available lands for housing development all over the country, including government idle lands, with local government units.

President Marcos Jr. has earlier announced that he will issue an executive order to use government idle lands for housing development to support the program.

Apart from building housing units, the ‘Pambansang Pabahay’ also promotes township development to provide housing communities easy access to sources of income and other services the home dwellers will need.