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SHFC Aims to Transform Lives with Resilient Communities Amid Housing Challenges

At the 2nd Socialized Housing Summit held at Ateneo de Manila University, Atty. Junefe G. Payot from the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) presented an approach to combat the Philippines’ housing backlog through resilient community-driven projects. Amidst a critical period where the production of socialized housing units plummeted to an all-time low in 2023, SHFC’s innovative strategies come as a beacon of hope for low-income Filipino families.


The SHFC, a key shelter agency attached to the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), has taken a front seat in implementing President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s flagship Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pilipino Housing (4PH) Program. This initiative aims to eradicate the housing backlog by fostering community-guided programs that not only provide homes but also uplift the quality of life for the impoverished sectors, both formal and informal.


Payot elaborated on the legal frameworks underpinning the right to adequate housing, emphasizing the government’s constitutional commitment to ensure affordable housing and basic services to underprivileged citizens. The presentation highlighted the importance of security of tenure, availability of services, affordability, and habitability as minimum elements for adequate housing, aligning with both national and international human rights treaties.


In addressing the urban housing crisis, SHFC has championed the vertical housing approach, a solution designed to maximize limited urban spaces while providing more housing units than traditional horizontal developments. This method not only tackles the scarcity and high cost of urban land but also prevents uncontrolled urban sprawl, contributing positively to environmental sustainability. Payot cited several ongoing SHFC projects, including those in Pasay City, Bulacan, Valenzuela City, Naic, Cavite, and Quezon City, showcasing the diverse benefits of strategic location, self-contained communities, livelihood opportunities, green and walkable spaces, and flexible design choices.


The SHFC projects stand as self-contained communities, offering residents access to essential amenities, recreational spaces, and livelihood opportunities, thereby fostering local economic development and social capital. These initiatives not only aim to provide shelter but also to enhance the overall well-being and quality of life for vulnerable groups. Ongoing projects in key urban areas like Tondo and San Miguel, Manila; San Fernando City, Pampanga; Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental; and Calinan, Davao City, underline SHFC’s commitment to addressing the urban housing need comprehensively.


However, the journey towards resolving the housing crisis is fraught with challenges. Payot called for government support in various forms, including adjustments to the socialized housing price ceiling, maintenance of affordable interest rates for homebuyers, and encouragement of private sector participation in policy creation for the 4PH Program. These measures, along with an updated Housing Industry Roadmap, are critical for guiding both the government and private sector efforts in fulfilling the nation’s housing needs.


As the organizers, ACSent and SEDPI, convened the summit on March 18-19, 2024, at the Ateneo de Manila University, the event underscored the urgency of collaborative efforts in surmounting the housing challenges. SHFC’s vision of transforming lives through resilient communities offers a promising path forward, highlighting the indispensable role of innovative housing solutions in building a more inclusive and sustainable future for all Filipinos.


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