HOUSING programs for OFWs and the marginalized are among the advocacies being pushed by HUDCC Chair and Vice President Leni Robredo.
HER APPOINTMENT as the new housing czar has brought hope that the perennial problems hounding socialized and informal settlements will now be addressed.
Vice President Leni Robredo, named as the new Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chair, is expected to play a crucial role in addressing the housing backlog, which has swollen to 5.7 million units to date, as well as the problem of informal settlements, which was estimated to have reached 1.5 million.
Such optimism stemmed from the fact that Robredo, together with her late husband Jesse, has been widely recognized for her genuine concern for the marginalized and their well being even before she occupied the second highest government position in the country.
Previous reports have even stated that housing programs were among the advocacies being pushed by the vice president’s late husband.
As such, many are pinning their hopes on Robredo to help give everyone a fair chance to the basic right of owning a decent home, by pushing for key reforms that could help address the housing backlog that continues to plague the country.
Recently, Robredo made bold pronouncements during the Housing Solutions Congress hosted European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, wherein she stated that in building a nation, the creation of happier homes would be crucial.
“The value of a home is felt most deeply by the father who cannot pro- tect his family from storms and floods, by the mother whose kitchen hangs over the estero, and by the child who walks home from school in the rain,” Robredo said in her speech.
“However, to all of us who are living in a city imploding with a growing population such as Manila and other cities around the country, sustainable housing solutions are also critical to finding answers to the issues of security, traffic, environmental sustainability and fiscal constraints, among other things. We have to build houses for the poor with sacred taxpayers’ money and our taxpayers are mostly the poor themselves. Housing is a very personal and very public crisis,” she added.
To solve the looming housing crisis, which the Vice President herself considered as a ticking time bomb, collective effort will be needed from government agencies, industry stakeholders and the private sector.
As such, a comprehensive road map that is based on accurate baseline data, global practices, public and private financing solutions and stakeholder consultation will prove to be critical to solving the housing backlog, according to the HUDCC Chair.
“No one has a monopoly of great ideas and our role here is to listen and to bring all stakeholders together for solutions that will truly wipe out our housing crisis within six years,” Robredo said.
“From now on, the success of each project will be determined by how many families are happily living in their own homes and how many communities have been provided with a better way of life. To all of you who can hear my voice, remember to build communities, not just houses. We want communities with access to water and electricity, as well as public libraries and clinics. We want communities where fathers and mothers can find jobs, and children have spaces to play,” she further noted.
The thrust of the HUDCC, according to Robredo, is to stop looking at the housing crisis as simply a matter of building homes, but rather as urban development.
“All of our housing projects must blend seamlessly with the development in the area. It must be a total-package-solution. Otherwise, we might as well not do it… Profit should no longer be your sole driver for growth. Shared value should be. When there is shared value, progress happens at the top and at the bottom of society at the same
time,” Robredo explained.
“Companies that build homes have a unique role in this development story. Homes have a direct impact in the way families feel safe, children feel secure and study for school, and parents get enough rest for a productive day at work, and experience the benefits of progress. Your work matters a lot to our nation. So let’s do our jobs well. Together, we will build a strong nation through happier homes,” she added.
Indeed, Philippine real estate developers have long started doing their share in addressing the housing problem in the country.
While the government focused largely its resources on helping the marginalized sector gain access to decent homes, the private sector, on the other hand, came up with innovative solutions that cater to an even wider segment of the society.
For instance, some have decided to ensure that homes are made more affordable particularly for the hardworking mid-market segment.
While there may indeed be a number of developers working to build houses for the mid market, one company decided to go beyond just that, to focus on delivering homes that also allows families and individuals to comfortably enjoy the fruits of their labor while feeling all safe and secure.
Quality of life
Sharing Robredo’s belief that a developer must go beyond the creation of a structure would be trusted property developer Empire East Land Holdings Inc. which continues to create developments that promote a balanced quality of life.
Having provided homes to a number of hardworking Filipinos, the company, for more than two decades now, has helped the government achieve its goal of giving its citizens a better and higher quality of life through its developments.
“Whether Empire East is moving urban families forward, promoting work-life integration or tapping new areas of growth, it constantly adds value to every location it decides to be a part of,” explained Empire East President and CEO Atty. Charlemagne Yu.
“Strengthening the brand comes with successfully shaping the land- scape and improving lives—and that comes with truly understanding the market. It is through this deep understanding that Empire East was able to continue innovating to remain a relevant, meaningful and transformative company,” he added.
By continuously creating homes that help uplift the lives of many Filipinos, Empire East has managed to show its desire to honor its commitment not only to the government but to the nation as well.
With its well planned communities and high quality structures, the company has rewarded every hardworking individual the privilege to fully realize their goals and aspirations.
“Empire East has successfully introduced real estate developments that continue to enhance and uplift the lives of its residents. By being a game changer and innovative home developer, we have managed to bring to the table fresh concepts that helped many individuals live the life they’ve always wanted and aspired for. Currently, with our unique approach to home building, we remain to be a top-of-mind choice by the most practical homebuyers and even investors,” Yu explained.
“In the coming years, we hope to continue doing what we do best and that is to help the government move the country forward and build a better nation for the next generation. We aim to do all these by creating not just structures but homes where individuals can comfortably live their lives without having to worry about their safety and where families can create lasting memories. Empire East will always help improve the lives of the Filipinos and will work hand in hand not only with HUDCC but with the entire nation as well,” he concluded