Guardo eyes medium-rise buildings for Cebu City's underprivileged residents

REAL estate developers could have more options in socialized housing projects for the poor residents in Cebu City.

This, as City Councilor Jerry Guardo proposed an amendment to the City Ordinance 1770, which reinforces the balanced housing development provision stated in Republic Act (RA) 7279, or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992.

If the City Council approves Guardo’s proposed amendment, developers would be allowed to construct medium-rise buildings.

Guardo proposed to add this provision to the ordinance: “For townhouse units, a socialized housing project equivalent to 15 percent of its total project cost and for residential condominium units including medium-rise building, socialized housing project equivalent to five percent of its total project cost.”

The City Council referred the proposed amendment to the committee on laws for review.

With several real estate developments in the city, Guardo said some developers find it hard to look for an area to put up a housing project. The councilor, to solve the matter, suggested to the developers to construct vertical buildings.

Within Cebu City

Guardo also wants developers to put up their socialized housing projects within Cebu City.

“There are developers who construct their projects here, but they put up the socialized housing in another area,” Guardo said.

He said it is less appealing for Cebu City residents to avail themselves of the housing projects that are far from the area where they originally lived.

“We experienced a lot of fire incidents in our city, displacing a lot of families. So, we have to provide them with low-cost housing, which is convenient for them,” Guardo said.

By law, developers of subdivisions, townhouses and condominiums are required to develop an area for socialized housing intended for the urban poor and homeless constituents in a particular local government unit.

RA 10884, which was enacted on July 17, 2016, amended several provisions stated in RA 7279, including the provision on balanced housing development.

A portion of the amended provision states that the balanced housing development “shall include a system to be specified in the framework plan whereby owners and/or developers of proposed subdivision and condominium projects shall be required to develop an area for socialized housing equivalent to at least 15 percent of the total subdivision area or total subdivision project cost and at least five percent of condominium area or project cost, at the option of the developer, in accordance with the standards as provided by law: Provided, That proposed socialized subdivision projects and proposed socialized condominium projects shall be exempt from this requirement.” (JJL)