Press Release
June 18, 2021

Tolentino asks NHA to allow reallocation of unoccupied gov't housing units

MANILA - Senator Francis "Tol" N. Tolentino has asked the National Housing Authority (NHA) to devise guidelines that would enable the government to reallocate completed but unoccupied government housing units to qualified beneficiaries, especially the homeless and urban poor.

Tolentino stressed that since government housing units are considered a public good, unoccupied housing structures should be reallocated to qualified beneficiaries if the original tenants failed to occupy the unit within three years.

"We consider these (government housing units) as a public good, and as a public good, they should benefit the general public," said Tolentino.

During the hearing of the Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement, which is chaired by Tolentino, NHA General Manager Marcelino P. Escalada Jr. revealed that a number of those who availed of "low-cost" housing units from the government did so as an investment, with some owners even renting out their properties for significantly more than the monthly amortization they are paying to the government.

Tolentino told the NHA to properly compensate the original awardees of housing units who have started paying amortizations once the agency reallocates their unoccupied units to other beneficiaries.

The senator stressed that allowing government housing units to remain unused deviates from their original purpose of benefitting the homeless, especially informal settlers and victims of natural and man-made disasters.

NHA General Manager Escalada welcomed Tolentino's proposal, and said that they are drafting a policy guidelines for the re-awarding of low-cost housing units that remain unoccupied within a specific time frame.

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