Government-run shelter financing agency Pag-IBIG Fund loaned about P2.35 billion to finance 5,411 homes for minimum-wage and low-income members in the first four months of the year, Manila Bulletin reported.
These socialized home loans account for 18 percent of the 29,310 units funded by the agency from January to April 2022. In terms of amount, the loans represent 7 percent of the P31.97 billion home loans released.
Decent Housing for Every Filipino
Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Eduardo D. del Rosario, the chairperson of the 11-member Pag-IBIG Fund Board of Trustees, emphasized that socialized housing loans are designed especially for minimum and low-wage workers. The agency’s Affordable Housing Program (AHP) ensures that all members, including those from low-income sector, can have their own homes.
AHP particularly caters to members from the low-income and minimum-wage sectors who earn up to P15,000 a month in the National Capital Region, and up to P12,000 per month outside the capital.
The socialized home loans carry a subsidized rate of 3% per annum for home loans of up to P580,000 for subdivision projects, and up to P750,000 for condominium developments.
Pag-IBIG Fund Chief Executive Officer Acmad Rizaldy Moti said that the rate of socialized loans continues to be the lowest in the market. The agency has maintained this rate since 2017, since it has a tax-exempt status stipulated in Republic Act No. 9679 or the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) Law of 2009.
The top executive also shared that borrowers won’t have to put out cash for equity. Moreover, insurance premiums are kept at a minimum for borrowers. Members can pay a monthly amortization of as low as P2,445.30 for a socialized home loan of up to P580,000.
All the benefits under AHP are geared towards making homeownership accessible, as Secretary del Rosario underscored the goal of BALAI (Building Adequate, Livable, Affordable and Inclusive) Filipino Communities Program, which is to provide decent shelter for every Filipino family.
At the local level, government units are gearing up or implementing housing programs catering to the low-income sector.
Earlier this month, the Quezon City government distributed land titles to more than 100 informal settler families (ISFs) in Barangay Gulod, as reported in Manila Times. Through the local government’s land acquisition and socialized housing program, informal settlers were able to purchase the property they were occupying from private landowners.
Along with the distribution of land titles, the local government was also tapping into the Usufruct agreement, which allows them to develop properties owned by the National Housing Authority and provide housing for 6,873 ISFs. A total of 36 hectares of land in Payatas, Bagong Silangan, Baesa, and Old Balara was already under the city government’s authority.
Outside Metro Manila, housing programs for the underprivileged are also in full swing. In Baguio, the groundworks on the city’s first socialized housing project, Luna Terraces, already started in March, as mentioned in this Manila Times report.
About 270 families are expected to benefit from the venture funded by the DHSUD and the National Housing Authority. The former is funding the land development, while the latter will finance the construction of housing units.
NHA already gave P50 million for the two buildings. There will be eight more buildings that will be constructed. The total budget allocated for the development is P326 million.
Aside from being the historic first socialized housing, Luna Terraces is considered a notable project as it’s designed as a permaculture community.
Permaculture means an “innovative framework for creating sustainable ways of living, how to grow food, build houses and create communities and minimize environmental impact at the same time.”
Demand for Affordable Properties
Back in February, the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association president May Rodriguez noted the housing gap, especially in socialized housing, as mentioned in this Business World report. She said that incentives could help prop up the supply of units in the market.
This need in the affordable housing sector coincides with Lamudi’s The Outlook Quarterly, which was presented in the recently concluded business networking event, Lamudi Link. The company found that properties below P450,000 garnered the second highest lead growth out of the property price ranges from the fourth quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2022. This increase in inquiries points to the huge interest in affordable housing.
Lamudi is set to gather thought leaders weighing in on the future of real estate post-pandemic in the highly anticipated The Outlook: Philippine Real Estate Conference. Trends in different segments of the property industry will form part of the discussion.
Sources: Manila Bulletin, Manila Times, Business World