Build Better, More Housing Says OSHDP

Gino Olivares, the National President of the Organization of Socialized and Economic Housing Developers of the Philippines, Inc. (OSHDP), emphasized the need to build more decent housing during his keynote speech at The Outlook Real Estate Conference 2022, held last August 31. 

OSHDP advocates for housing projects to be treated nearly as important as the government’s “Build Build Build” infrastructure program. Hence, Olivares’ proposal to build better, more housing. 

At the same time, Olivares encouraged the government to heed the call of the affordable housing sector. He said that acknowledging the housing crisis is one way to treat the problem accordingly and genuinely uplift the life of every Filipino. 

Building Better Housing 

The OSHDP president opened his speech by uttering the words “change,” “revision,” and “shift,” highlighting the advancement needed in the real estate sector. Olivares cited new housing trends in the US, Japan, and Singapore, which the Philippines could adapt to ensure housing is available at a more affordable price.

Co-buying a property, an ongoing trend in the US, is one of the perceived solutions to expensive rents and the looming housing crisis. In this buying arrangement, two or more individuals purchase a property and agree on the ownership terms. In Makati, for instance, Olivares said young, single professionals could break out of the renting cycle and afford decent housing through co-buying. 

Considering the high-record prices for traditional apartments and single-family homes, Olivares also looked into the possibility of constructing micro-apartments. He said that developers in Singapore and Japan explored building single-room living spaces while ensuring they are decent and affordable. Similar to co-buying, this trend could address the housing needs of young professionals who work where they can’t afford to live. 

As a real estate practitioner, Olivares also pointed out how valuable it is to own a property, regardless of size. He said, “Whether big or small, a homeowner will always earn a respectable return. At this point in time, it’s not a battle of who owns a large property. It is now a battle of efficiency and effectiveness—aesthetic and functionality even with limited space.” 

Building More Homes

Solving the housing problems in the Philippines also requires solid cooperation between the state and the private sector. For this to transpire, Olivares suggests that the definition of roles must be clear from the start. The government is expected to have a continuing program for housing and urban development, while the private sector will serve as an important cooperator. By having less restrictive regulations on housing production and promoting ease of doing business, developers will have more products to offer. 

Olivares also pointed out that improvements can be made concerning the price cap setting regulations. He said, “The middle class wants more value for their money. Besides sustainability and durability, they also want [homes] to be aesthetically pleasing. By easing price control such that it allows competition in the market, developers will have more creative ideas and products to offer. Hence, allowing as well more options for homebuyers.

OSHDP also pushes for the enactment of a genuine national land use bill, which could reveal how much land is available for housing and other uses. The land use code is likewise seen as a critical component of spatial development, leading to the creation of new townships and new growth corridors

Developers Doing More than Their Fair Share

Despite the private sector’s so-called “cooperator” role in building more homes, it is responsible for 60 to 70 percent of the country’s average housing production, as revealed by Olivares. Meanwhile, the government housing production through its production arm, National Housing Authority (NHA), amounted to only 2 million housing units of the 6.7 million deficit as of this year.

Some government agencies, however, remain committed to providing decent shelters to Filipinos, prompting the OSHDP president to commend Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG), National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC), and Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC). 

He also acknowledged the private stakeholders’ role in the industry through the years. As an important driver and partner for growth, developers are worthy of recognition for their efforts and contributions. 

In the upcoming The Outlook 2022: Philippine Real Estate Awards, Lamudi is back to give prestigious recognitions to developers and projects that significantly help the Filipino people. The event also honors the industry’s resilience amid the health crisis and facilitates social engagement as a cornerstone of real estate breakthroughs.

Learn more about The Outlook 2022 by visiting this page.

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