AFFORDABLE HOUSING. Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Eduardo del Rosario (center) and Koronadal City Mayor Eliordo Ogena (far right) lead the laying of the time capsule for the construction of 170 rowhouse type housing units at the 2.8-hectare Koronadal Cityville Resettlement Project Phase 1 in Barangay New Pangasinan on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 21, 2021). The DHSUD announced an additional PHP20-million grant for the project to augment the PHP50 million already released by the National Housing Authority. (Photo grab from the DHSUD Facebook page)

KORONADAL CITY – The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) is set to release an additional PHP20-million grant to augment the ongoing development of a resettlement housing project for informal settlers here.

DHSUD Secretary Eduardo del Rosario announced the supplementary funding during the formal groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of housing units at the 2.8-hectare Koronadal Cityville Resettlement Project in Barangay New Pangasinan on Thursday afternoon.

Del Rosario said the funds would be used for the provision of support facilities at the housing site, such as road networks, drainage, water lines, and electrical connections.

The amount is on top of the PHP50 million released by the National Housing Authority (NHA) for the construction of 170 rowhouse-type housing units in the area under the project’s first phase, he said.

“It complements with our mandate of building communities with adequate support facilities and making sure that they are accessible to various infrastructure being provided by the local and national governments,” del Rosario said in his speech.

Under the project, the NHA, an attached agency of the DHSUD, approved a grant of PHP25 million to the city government and an additional PHP25 million that will be repaid by the housing beneficiaries through an affordable financing scheme.

Del Rosario said the financing term is for 30 years and lets the beneficiaries only pay “less than PHP300” monthly.

He assured that the housing units would be constructed based on government standards, especially in terms of quality and safety.

“The beneficiaries will be very proud of the place because it will be decent and yet very affordable,” del Rosario said.

The housing project, which initially broke ground for the site development in March, is a joint undertaking of the NHA and the city government.

Zenaida Cabiles, NHA 12 (Soccsksargen) manager, said the agency started working on the initiative as early as 2017 and it was eventually approved for funding last January under the Resettlement Assistance Program for Local Government Units.

Cabiles said the first phase, which covers 1.59 hectares, would have 170 housing units intended for residents affected by the rehabilitation of the Blok Creek, a critical waterway traversing the city’s downtown area.

Each unit will have a floor area of 24.3 square meters and with a modal lot size of 40 square meters, she said.

Cabiles said the construction of the houses officially started on October 1 and is due for completion in 600 calendar days or on May 23, 2023.

City Mayor Eliordo Ogena thanked the national government, through the DHSUD and NHA, for supporting the local government’s efforts to provide decent and affordable housing for the poor informal settler families here.

He said the city government would continue to look for ways to enhance and eventually expand the housing project.

“We are thankful because this is just the start of our collaboration (with DHSUD and NHA),” Ogena said.

Del Rosario arrived here on Thursday for a two-day swing, which coincided with the regional celebration of National Shelter Month.

He graced the culmination program of the 1st Soccsksargen Housing and Human Settlements Summit on Thursday afternoon and will join the 1st Soccsksargen Housing Fair: HanapBahay 2021 on Friday morning. (PNA)