Written by: Rita Magallona
Imagine paying less than P1,000 a month for your home amortization. Sounds impossible? Thanks to the National Housing Authority (NHA) of the Philippines, even informal settlers have the opportunity to become homeowners.
The NHA develops low-cost public housing with affordable payment schemes. Subsidized NHA housing is available for service personnel like members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP). The NHA also assists in relocating at-risk or displaced families.
The A in NHA
Despite its name, the NHA has authority only over housing developed by the agency. For all others, the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) enforces housing laws, especially those built by private developers.
The NHA and the HLURB are under the supervision of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), the umbrella agency that oversees all housing concerns in the Philippines. The Pag-IBIG Fund (Home Mutual Development Fund), which provides financing for private developments, also falls under the HUDCC.
What the NHA Does
This government agency develops affordable housing and implements programs such as:
Informal Settler Families (ISFs) tend to build makeshift houses wherever it is convenient. In Metro Manila, these areas include dangerous places along rivers, creeks, and drainage canals. These waterways overflow when heavy rains come, putting the informal settlers in danger.
This is where the NHA comes in. The agency builds new homes in safer areas, either in-city low-rise housing developments built on government land, or in off-city developments outside Metro Manila where in-city relocation is not feasible. You can find NHA housing developments in the provinces of Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, Pampanga, and Bataan.
Local Government Units (LGUs) often partner with the NHA to relocate and resettle informal settlers, indigenous peoples, people living in danger zones, and those affected by calamities and infrastructure projects.
On top of housing for displaced families, the NHA also provides community facilities, socio-economic programs, and other forms of community support.
Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP)
Homes can get destroyed for a variety of reasons: typhoons, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, fire, industrial accidents, terrorism, or armed conflict. When calamities strike, marginal-income families are especially vulnerable – they can’t afford to rebuild their homes. For these families, the NHA extends financial support through its Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP).
Settlements Upgrading Program
When government land is declared a socialized housing site, the NHA helps informal settlers in the area stay in their homes. The agency facilitates the survey and titling of individual lots for qualified occupants, develops infrastructure, constructs housing, and rehabilitates existing project sites.
Housing for Service Personnel
The NHA provides affordable but decent housing to personnel in the various services. These are the low-salaried personnel of the AFP, the PNP, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), and the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
Local Housing Programs
RA 7835 or the Comprehensive and Integrated Shelter Financing Act of 1994 (CISFA) provides for the implementation of cost-recoverable socialized housing projects in urbanized and near-urbanized areas in all congressional districts. The NHA is the point agency for the implementation of this law, including providing housing options, facilitating land acquisition or land tenure assistance schemes, and assisting in land survey and titling. The agency also provides, installs, and repairs project components and community facilities.
How can you apply for NHA housing?
If you are eligible for NHA housing, contact their headquarters at 5 Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City. The NHA telephone number is (02) 8790-0800. For those outside Metro Manila, contact the nearest NHA regional office for details.
A safe, secure, and clean home is still a distant dream for a lot of Filipinos. While it is far from perfect, the NHA is doing its best to make this dream possible.
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