SHDA proposes priority agenda for the housing industry to new Housing Secretary Acuzar

The Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA) shares with new Housing Secretary Jose Acuzar what the new administration aims to achieve for the housing industry in the next six years, during its courtesy call at the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) in Quezon City last August 10.

“We fully support the President’s appointment of Secretary Jose Acuzar as the new head of the DHSUD and his vision of considerably accelerating Filipinos’ access to affordable shelters, and entering new approaches to urban development throughout the country. We look forward to working with him, in exploring these inspiring ideas, as well as in streamlining processes and policies already started for housing and real estate in the country,” SHDA National President May Rodriguez said.

According to SHDA Chairman George Siy, the DHSUD is the quarterback department in both the management of housing needs, and the organized urban development of the country. SHDA identified that access to land, additional affordable forms of finance, and policies on vertical development, are some of the keys for expanding production of housing. This is also in line with the adoption of a rationalized National Land Use Plan that President Marcos Jr. had mentioned in his State of the Nation Address.

SHDA brought up that a National Land Use Plan, with some balancing of the concerns of different sectors, preparation or updates at the national and local levels, would help organize and speed up development by both the government and the private sector in projects throughout the country.

The largest housing organization in the country identified the rationalization of licensing and permitting process as an important priority, and the digitization of the required submissions and payments systems to government offices, and data sharing, would greatly reduce the cost of and time required for doing business, and redound to a more affordable cost of housing.

Secretary Acuzar traded ideas with SHDA on how to unlock further access to sustainable financing for housing;  on how to encourage the participation of other government and private financial institutions in housing finance.

He raised the goals of addressing the housing needs of the lower segment of the population, public housing, and reversing the increasing backlog, as major priorities of this government.

Innovative approaches such as rental housing, cooperative housing, and activities involving the national government, local government units, private sector, and importantly, the communities, were also discussed.

“We believe that together, we will accomplish many things for the housing industry. We are here to support his programs in any way we can,” Siy said during the meeting with Acuzar.

SHDA also suggested that strengthening the incentives and addressing the price ceilings, especially for socialized housing, will enhance greater participation in housing activities that had been affected by inflation in materials, skilled labor, and raw land prices.

During the courtesy call, Secretary Acuzar gave ideas of many initiatives that this government and he were exploring as programs for the next six years, and  assured the DHSUD’s openness  to suggestions and continuing participation for SHDA and stakeholders.

These included working hand-in-hand with the local government units, and the beneficiaries, in the maintenance of the housing in their jurisdiction. He explored beyond housing alone, concepts in  community planning that will  decrease the cost of living for the buyers, enhance employment, and living standards, in dispersed areas.

At the end of the meeting, all parties were excited by the possibilities, and  looked forward to proactive partnership between the government and the private sector, different organizations, and stakeholders to achieve national goals in housing and national development.