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November 21, 2017

CBBRC join calls to redistribute unoccupied public housing projects

The Crispin B. Beltran Resource Center, an independent research institution joins renewed calls of urban poor organizations to redistribute housing projects that remain idle and unoccupied.

The occupation of some 6,000 housing units by members of the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY) in Pandi, Bulacan should have served as the wake-up call to the National Housing Authority (NHA) to utilize the unoccupied housing projects for the benefits of those most in need – the homeless and informal settlers.

We estimate that there are around 49,411 homes intended for personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) that remain unoccupied. These homes continue to rot away despite the passage of House Resolution 15 and Senate Resolution 7 that authorized the NHA to award them to other beneficiaries such as the urban poor.

A housing unit in Pandi, Bulacan costs Php 250,000. Using this as our baseline, we can estimate that the Government spent as much as Php 12 billion of taxpayer’s money to build houses. These houses are now being deprived from the urban poor who are willing to utilize them for shelter since our uniformed personnel have already expressed their desire for better homes for their families.

According to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Metro Manila ranks first in the world in terms of homelessness with around 3.1 million individuals, 1.2 million of whom are children, without a home. As informal settlers, they are living in unsafe and precarious conditions without access to proper sanitation, electricity, and other necessary utilities.

Finally, the CBBRC calls on President Rodrigo Duterte to fulfill his campaign promise of change by advancing the right of the poor to decent and affordable public housing for all.