500 Houses For Marawi Siege Evacuees Start Construction

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) will start within the week the construction of the first five hundred permanent housing units in Barangay Kilala here for families displaced in the five-month 2017 siege.

The UN-Habitat, the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) and the National Housing Authority (NHA) broke ground on Monday in a ceremony attended by members of the 28 homeowners’ associations from ground zero — now referred to by the government as the “most affected area” (MAA).

The housing site, to be built on a 39-hectare land acquired and developed by the NHA, will be called the Pamayanding sa Ranaw Residences.

Each unit will stand on a 90-sqm lot, single detached, one-story structure with a total floor area of 46 sqm. It will include a toilet and a kitchen, as well as an electrical and plumbing system.

The agency has committed to build 1,500 permanent shelters for families formerly living within the six-meter easement along the Agus River and 20-meter reclaimed area in front of Lake Lanao, who can no longer go back after the government declared the areas “no-build zones”.

The houses will be built in various areas in this city on land provided by the NHA.

The 500 units in Barangay Kilala are expected to be completed next month, and the entire 1,500 units, in March 2020.

The Japanese government, a partner of UN-Habitat, will fund the project.

More than 10 out of 24 barangays in the MAA are located along the river and in front of the lake, with estimated inhabitants of 1,900 families.

While the UN-Habitat has committed to build 1,500 shelters, the remaining 400 families will be provided their own through the project of the San Miguel Foundation, according to Housing Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, who also chairs the TFBM.

Warren Ubongen, project manager of UN-Habitat, said the project “is a partnership between the Philippine and the Japan government.”

“The beneficiaries will get their full ownership. Once we have constructed the houses and the NHA will subdivide the titles, it will be awarded, including the certificate of the houses,” Ubongen added.

The UN-Habitat said the construction of the houses would employ a “community-driven approach”, in which the family-beneficiaries are involved in the actual project implementation.

“They will be the one doing the purchasing, the warehousing and the canvassing. They will make sure the houses that will be constructed (are) based on the standards that were set by all,” Ubongen said. (PNA)

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