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SHDA Convention to put spotlight on housing issues

by MyProperty.phPublished: September 29, 2017Updated: September 29, 2017

Recognizing the need to discuss housing issues and concerns, the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association is once again staging its annual National Developers Convention

SHDA stages its annual national developers convention to discuss housing issues and concerns

Home sweet home, but not for many Filipinos.

Sadly for some of us, having a home remains an elusive dream. In fact, a recent report states that as of 2016, the estimated housing backlog in the Philippines is at a whopping 6.9 million units. Current industry trends also indicate that the average increase in the number of households in 435,000 per annum, while the average number of housing units constructed is a 233,00 per annum.

With these statistics, providing houses to millions of homeless Filipinos is clearly a priority.

However, that’s just one of the multiple issue hounding the sector right now. Apart from the rising housing backlog, the lifting of the VAT suspension on low-cost housing that looms, and a reduced housing budget, the sector also needs focus and attention rom several stakeholders in order for it to improve for the greater good.

Recognizing the need for a platform to discuss housing issues and concerns, the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA) is once again staging its annual National Developers Convention with the theme, “Housing Partners for Progress through Inclusive Growth” on September 28 and 29, 2017, to be held in Makati. This event is expected to bring together relevant stakeholders in the industry.

The two-day conference is seen as a venue to talk about and address current and significant housing issues that impact the country.

The SHDA National Developers Convention will primarily tackle how he housing sector can contribute to inclusive growth. The current administration has been calling for inclusive growth with President Rodrigo Duterte himself making repeated pronouncements n closing the gap between the rich and the poor and in promoting equal opportunities and growth among the country’s regions.

When you think about it, working towards inclusive growth can be the saving grace of the country’s growing housing backlog. It’s no secret that there’s an influx of domestic migrants gravitating towards Metro Manila because this is the country’s version of “the land of milk and honey.” Many perceive Metro Manila as a hub of opportunities; hence, the city becomes densely populated resulting in a growing number of informal settlers coming from various parts of the country. The National Housing Authority (NHA) estimates there are about 1.5 million informal settler families (ISFs) across the Philippines. Majority of these informal settlers are in Metro Manila estimated to be at around 600,000 ISFs, which translates to about 3 million people.

With the Duterte administration pushing for decentralization to achieve inclusive growth throughout the country, opportunities across the Philippines are expected to be distributed. Rural dwellers can now look forward to securing potential employment and having income opportunities without leaving their hometown, and at the same time, have the purchasing power to finally get or build a house.

Apart from inclusive growth, here are four tracks that are expected to be the main points of the discussion (on stage and in side conversations, no doubt) at the SHDA National Convention.

The first track will focus on “Prospects for New Housing Developments,” which is set to discuss development of new growth centers and expansion of existing urban settlements, the alignment of state-planned infrastructure with development prospects as well as its impact on the industry, innovations in the property sector, and new trends in township planning and development.

The second track will discuss “Strategic Plans to Enhance Lives” mainly tackling the property management needs of subdivisions and condominium projects, lands for economic development, and designs that improve the quality and way of life.

Track three, on the other hand, will highlight “Sustainable Growth” with stakeholders discussing efforts to maintain the gained momentum for growth.

The fourth and final track will put a spotlight on “Partnership for Inclusive Growth,” which will serve as an in-depth look at national programs which include “Ambisyon Natin 2040,” innovations in housing finance, updates in housing regulation, as well as current developments in PPP (Public–Private Partnership). This will also serve as an opportunity for the stakeholders to discuss the challenges and gains currently besetting the housing sector.

SHDA stages its annual national developers convention to discuss housing issues and concerns

It is comforting to know that both the government and the private sector are currently working together to maximize open doors and to combat challenges. This is evident in the lineup of speakers and guests the SHDA National Convention.

Among the featured speakers and notable personalities expected to grace the event are Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, who will serve as the keynote speaker at the convention; HUDCC Deputy Secretary General Asec. Avelino Totentino, who is set to talk about “Housing 22 and Beyond,” and NEDA Housing and Human Settlement Division – Social Development Staff Chief Ramon Falcon, who will be discussing “The Impact of Dutertenomics to the Philippine Economy.”

SHDA is expressing confidence and optimism in the panel discussions and in the open line of communication between policy-makers and the housing sector.

“SHDA and the housing industry will certainly extend helping hand and work with the government on how we can collectively help reduce the housing backlog in the country. At the same time, this is an excellent occasion to gather all the bright minds from the government, the private sector, and other stakeholders to discuss the various ways to improve the housing sector and in how we can help promote inclusive growth,” said Christopher Narciso, SHDA national president.

“It will be an interesting meeting of minds as we come up with possible solutions to several issues,” he added.

The private sector will also be well-represented by respected figures including Rodrigo Franco, President and CEO of Metro Pacific Tollways, who will discuss “The Impact of Infrastructure Projects in the Development and Growth of Its Serviced Areas”; David Leechiu, CEO of Leechiu Property Consultants, who will be part of the panel discussion on sustainable growth and the “Prospects of BPO and KPO development in the regions and addressing its housing needs.”

The SHDA National Developers Convention is expected to gather about 300 delegates who will mostly be coming from he real estate and housing sectors, the government, and the academe.

Technicalities and formalities aside, a convention like this humbly remind us that having a home is not a luxury—it is a basic human need. However, current circumstances show that it’s beginning to look the other way around. Looking at the statistics and the housing issues, there is an undeniable urgent need to address the housing crisis and to let Filipino families simply have a roof over their heads by providing them access to affordable housing and income generating opportunities.

May inclusive growth be the key in solving the persistent challenges of the housing sector and the critical issues in general that continue to dim the prospects of a brighter Philippines.

 

Main photo by Jao Manahan

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