After nearly three decades of numerous attempts, the House of Representatives ratified last week the bicameral conference committee report on a bill that seeks to create the Department of Housing Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD).
This new department will be tasked to address the country’s huge housing backlog—estimated at close to 6 million units—and to focus on building communities and habitats in both rural and urban areas.
“After years of uncertainty, the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association, Inc. (SHDA) considers this development a milestone in the history of this country’s housing industry. Its subsequent enactment into law paves the way for the creation of a single policy-making, program development and regulatory body, which will be responsible for the management of housing, human settlements and urban development nationwide, a dream come true for all housing industry players,” said SHDA national president Jeffrey Ng.
The bill related to the creation of a housing department was first deliberated on in 1994.
Once established, the DHSUD will be tasked to rationalize and coordinate the functions and powers of various housing agencies of the state.
Merging the functions of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), the DHSUD will also be attaching to itself the following key shelter agencies: National Housing Authority; Home Guarantee Corp., National Home Mortgage Finance Corp., Home Development Mutual Fund and Social Housing Finance Corp.
Under the bill, the DHSUD will be composed of the Office of the Secretary and the Bureaus of Policy Development, Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation; Environmental, Land Use, and Urban Planning and Development; Housing and Real Estate Development Regulation; and the Homeowners Association and Community Development.