Solving The Affordable Housing Backlog One Step at a Time
As the housing backlog continues to be a relentless problem, top real estate marketplace Lamudi is doing its share through the upcoming Lamudi Affordable Housing Fair
Housing for all is maybe one of the biggest challenges the Philippine government has faced. According to The Philippine Housing Industry Roadmap: 2012-2030, presented by the Subdivision & Housing Developers Association Inc. (SHDA) to the Bureau of Investments (BOI), if nothing is done or no special housing program is created, the country’s housing backlog will reach 6.5 million by 2030. Unfortunately, recent reports revealed that the country’s housing backlog is already estimated at 5.7 million.
Moreover, with this number it can be said that over 20 million Filipinos have no decent homes of their own and figures could still go up as natural disasters could hit the country anytime.
As government agencies and private institutions continue to see and acknowledge the gravity of the situation, baby steps are being taken to lessen if not totally eradicate the housing problem. The solutions offered were still in the trial-and-error stage and the way to resolve the housing crisis is still yet to be found.
One move by government-owned financing agency Pag-IBIG Fund is providing a 3% interest rate, the lowest ever offered to minimum-wage earners. Metro Manila-based workers earning Php15,000 per month or (or Php12,000 for those based in the provinces) are eligible to avail of this offer. Minimum-wage workers can now get a loan for properties with selling prices not exceeding Php450,000.
Private Sector’s Take on the Housing Problem
David Leechui, CEO of Leechiu Property Consultants Inc., stressed that helping generate jobs is one viable solution to the low-cost housing problem. “Instead of losing so much money in socialized housing projects, it is better to put the focus in generating jobs. The more jobs created, the more affordable the houses become,” Mr. Leechui shared.
Mr. Leechiu also added that at least the country is on the right track as the unemployment rate is at the lowest it has ever been and he is quite optimistic that the trend will continue.
On the other hand, Michael McCullough, Managing Director of local Savills associate KMC MAG Group suggested a solution that doesn’t cost taxpayers any money. He said that there’s a ton of government land in Metro Manila that can be rented to developers. The private sector can then rehabilitate and build affordable housing inside Metro Manila, exactly where employment opportunities are available for them.
“I believe that the current administration has the will and strength to push something like that through. The traditional response of the government is to take people out of Metro Manila and send then a hundred miles away, which is not going to work because the jobs are here [in the capital],” Mr. McCullough explained.
“We need people to live, work and play in walkable communities because at the moment we cannot afford to build [transport] infrastructures that will cost us approximately $30 billion. Just build an affordable housing in and around the CBD’s and traffic is solved,” Mr. McCullough added.
Evidently, creating jobs closer to home is the immediate solution in the escalating housing problem.
Lamudi Affordable Housing Fair
Home ownership continues to be an elusive achievement for the majority of Filipinos, and this can be attributed to various factors including the sheer inaccessibility of government housing projects, poor quality of socialized housing, and insufficient financial assistance. Another major factor is the lack of information of what is readily available for the affordable market. This is what the upcoming Lamudi Affordable Housing Fair aims to address: to make affordable housing for all achievable by showcasing a wide range of affordable homes and sharing valuable investment information.
Lamudi is also introducing an enjoyable house-hunting experience through their event. The fair is staged not only to display affordable housing options but to let buyers take advantage of exclusive property discounts and get exciting freebies and promos.
Property auctions, virtual reality in real estate, and forums facilitated by experts tackling investment and affordable housing will simultaneously happen at the event.
The first Lamudi Housing Fair was a three-day event successfully held in November 2016 and was attended by more than 5,000 visitors. The upcoming affordable housing-focused edition is expecting even more as a big chunk of the market looks for value-for-money homes.
To know more about the Lamudi Affordable Housing Fair, visit www.lamudi.com.ph/events