Creba Pushes for Building Affordable Housing Within Transit-oriented Developments

Last Updated on July 15, 2021 by Lamudi

The Chamber of Real Estate & Builders’ Associations, Inc. (Creba) recently petitioned for the building of affordable housing within transit-oriented developments that are planned, designed, and constructed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

The group appealed to the government’s human settlements and transportation departments to prioritize these considerations, citing the need for decent housing for Filipinos nationwide as a primary reason for doing so. 

In a report by BusinessWorld, Charlie A. V. Gorayeb, Creba’s National Chairman, mentioned that if the government provides the land, then private housing developers can take the initiative to construct residential properties in areas within or near mass transportation hubs.

He also states that a partnership between these two organizations may result in a significant increase in the supply of dignified housing and the improvement of the quality of life of a portion of the homeless population in the Philippines. 

Meeting the urgent housing needs of Filipinos 

The country is currently facing a chronic housing shortage, with the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA) citing a need for almost 7 million affordable housing units. The organization expects these figures to surge to almost 20 million by the year 2040 if left unsettled by the government. 

Gorayeb further stressed that there are over 1.9 million informal settlers in the country, with almost 478,899 of them in Metro Manila occupying central waterways and danger zones recognized by the Department of Public Works and Highways as priority areas for clearing and flood prevention. 

He said that relocations of informal settlers in hazardous areas usually fail because of the lack of available residential land in areas where work opportunities are abundant. 

The DOTr’s transport-oriented projects have allowed for widespread opportunities to focus on the need for affordable housing developments near job and livelihood centers via improved mass transportation hubs. 

Noel Toti M. Carino, Creba’s National President, identified the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR), which is intended to connect Calamba, Laguna to the Clark International Airport in Pampanga, as one such transport-oriented development that presents a hopeful housing solution. 

Both Creba officials believe that if just 10 percent of NSCR’s 500-meter radius development is allocated for affordable housing, it’s possible that this will generate over 37,000 housing units that can accommodate an estimated 185,000 inhabitants. 

Though these figures pale in comparison to the enormous housing backlog the Philippines currently faces, Creba hopes that it will jumpstart a long-term initiative to meet the urgent housing needs of Filipinos across the country. 

Property seekers demand affordable, dignified housing

The pressing need for affordable yet safe and dignified residential properties is in line with the surge in pageviews and leads for affordable housing on Lamudi in April.

With increasing living costs and worsening traffic conditions, property seekers are not only seeking houses and condominium units in the low-cost pricing segment, but also homes near transport-oriented developments.

Though many people who move to Metro Manila do find higher wages and better educational and work opportunities, these benefits often come at the cost of living in one of the most expensive and congested areas in the world, as reported by Rappler.

Financial savings and improved mental and physical health are two of the most significant perks of living in transit-oriented communities.

If the DOTr and the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) pursue Creba’s push for more affordable housing projects in transit-oriented developments, it would not only benefit informal settlers, but also the many Metro Manila residents who commute to work every day. 

In the meantime, the government has already begun implementing strategies to decongest Metro Manila, starting with investing in peripheral areas and in transportation and mobility projects that improve accessibility throughout the metro and its fringe cities. 

Lamudi has already registered an uptick in demand for properties in fringe cities, which further demonstrates the market’s interest in accessible, dignified, and affordable properties.

The combination of efforts to both address the growing need for affordable housing and the decongestion of Metro Manila will positively impact the quality of life of millions of people throughout the country.

Source: BusinessWorld, Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Rappler

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