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Citihub Founder Panya Boonsirithum Advocates for Affordable Urban Housing at the 2nd Socialized Housing Summit

In a striking presentation at the 2nd Socialized Housing Summit, held on March 18-19, 2024, at the Ateneo de Manila University, Panya Boonsirithum, the founder of Citihub, shared his visionary approach to addressing Metro Manila’s housing crisis. Organized by the Ateneo Center for Social Entrepreneurship (ACSent) and Social Enterprise Development Partnerships Inc. (SEDPI), the summit brought together a diverse group of stakeholders to tackle the challenges of socialized housing in the Philippines.


Boonsirithum, through his social enterprise, Citihub, highlighted the profound disparity between the burgeoning population of Metro Manila, which swells from 12.8 million at night to 15 million during the day, according to the 2015 NSO Census. This phenomenon exacerbates the city’s homelessness and housing inadequacy, particularly for low-income workers who commute daily to the metropolis’s economic hubs such as Makati, Pasay, and the Port Area of Tondo.


Citihub’s innovative solution, the “POP-UP Mobile Dormitory,” aims to provide affordable, dignified, and environmentally sustainable housing for these workers. For a remarkably low fee of P99 per day (or P2,995 per month), residents can enjoy bed accommodations inclusive of power and water, fully air-conditioned rooms, free Wi-Fi, cable TV, and round-the-clock security with CCTV. Additionally, residents benefit from complimentary rice and mineral water, further alleviating their living costs.


Boonsirithum’s vision for Citihub is bold and clear: to eradicate homelessness in Metro Manila by establishing a Citihub in every city within the metropolitan area. By doing so, Citihub aims to be a for-profit social enterprise that significantly reduces the environmental footprint of urban housing while addressing the pressing need for affordable accommodations.


The growth plans of Citihub are ambitious, aiming to establish a hub in each of the 16 cities of Metro Manila. This expansion strategy underscores Citihub’s commitment to widespread social impact, emphasizing the enterprise’s dual focus on environmental stewardship and social progress.


Boonsirithum’s message to the summit attendees was one of inspiration and action. He urged everyone to champion causes that contribute to the nation’s development and to take an active role in building the future. Citihub’s project serves not only as a testament to what can be achieved through innovation and social entrepreneurship but also as a call to action for other stakeholders to explore and implement solutions that provide sustainable, affordable housing.


The summit, organized by ACSent and SEDPI, provided a valuable platform for sharing ideas, strategies, and success stories like Citihub’s. By bringing together government agencies, private sector partners, social enterprises, and civil society allies, the event aimed to forge a collaborative network dedicated to ensuring accessible, sustainable, and dignified housing for every Filipino. Boonsirithum’s presentation at the summit reinforced the critical role of innovative approaches and public-private partnerships in bridging the gaps in the housing sector and building futures through innovating solutions.


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