DAR signs housing deal with DHSUD
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) signed an agreement to provide affordable housing for farmers of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
The deal, signed by DAR Secretary John R. Castriciones and DHSUD Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, seeks to pursue a meaningful agrarian reform program by uplifting the lives and economic status of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and their families.
Castriciones said the joint program between DAR and DHSUD called BALAI Farmers and Farmworkers’ Housing Program is one of the major programs of DAR that would improve the living condition of farmer-beneficiaries in the country.
“Most of our farmers and farm-workers are poor and does not own the house they live in. And even if they own it, most of their houses are dilapidated and needs repair. Why? Because the farmers would rather use their money for farming and family expenses than use it for house repairs,” said Castriciones.
Under the agreement, the DHSUD shall develop and adopt a national strategy to immediately address the provision of adequate and affordable housing to farmers.
DAR Undersecretary for Support Services Emily Padilla said the housing program will be a product compilation of existing programs and projects of relevant government and private sector agencies.
The agreement also stipulates that DAR and DHSUD will form project teams to coordinate and implement the housing program in the pilot areas, namely Bayombong, Nueva Ecija; San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija; Tuy, Batnagas; Daet, Camarines Norte; Argao, Cebu and Davao City.
According to Padilla the program will be implemented in two schemes, on-site and off-site housing.
Padilla said the on-site housing scheme will cover home improvements of existing houses of ARBs, construction or purchase of a new house for ARBs, and refinancing of an existing housing loan secured by the ARB.
The off-site housing scheme covers subdivision projects located in the capital or in major urban centers of the province.
“Such projects may be chosen by farmers to provide housing for their families, children or relatives so they can be near to schools, medical facilities and market centers for their agri-products,” Padilla explained.
Padilla said that the housing development will be supplied by subdivision developers and housing contractors.