SAN JUAN CITY—Vice President Leni Robredo, chairperson of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), visited St. Joseph Ville, a housing project in this city, on Thursday in line with her agreement with Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito to address the problem of housing and informal settlements in the country.
Robredo and Ejercito vowed to work with local government units in building “vertical socialized housing” as a safe alternative for informal settler.
The senator, a former San Juan mayor, stressed “LGUs and city mayors should consider in-city housing because they know best which families to prioritize for resettlement and how to identify and acquire the land for vertical socialized housing.”
Ejercito, who chairs the Senate committee on urban planning, housing and resettlement, added “LGUs also oversee project implementation in cooperation with the National Housing Authority. ”
He hoped the socialized housing program will be implemented in the entire country.
Robredo’s visit came nearly a year after the housing project, under an agreement between Mayor Guia Gomez and the NHA, was inaugurated by then presidential aspirant Mar Roxas, former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada and Ejercito.
At the recent Housing Solutions Congress in Pasay City, Robredo said on-site and in-city housing projects will address families who keep returning to cities after relocation to provinces.
St. Joseph Ville is part of the flagship projects of Mayor Gomez, who has proposed several projects to uplift the lives of residents and upgrade the environment of a future City of Excellence, a globally competitive and dynamic community.
The NHA funded the construction of the P197.7-million housing project by contractor Struktura Teknika Services Co. and three builders who completed it in May. Each unit of the six five-story buildings has a 24-square-meter floor area.
It is home to 340 qualified informal settler families that four years ago, were among those displaced by a Christmas Day blaze in 2012. The fire razed 180 houses. A person died and 19 people were injured – two of them firemen and another a fire volunteer.
The local government gave the affected families financial, medical and transportation allowance. Some families chose to rent their own homes, some went back to their provinces and the rest stayed in temporary shelters in Barangay Batis.
Robredo is pushing for an increase in the housing budget to supply the country’s 5.56-million housing backlog.