A bill seeking to grant rental subsidy for informal settler families (ISFs) has been filed by a party-list representative before the House of Representatives.
Authored by AGRI Party-list Rep. Wilbert Lee, House Bill (HB) No. 2879, or the Rental Housing Subsidy Act of 2022, will establish a rent subsidy program for qualified ISFs, if it becomes a law.
Lee noted the harder situation of the poor because of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the rising inflation.
“The government has to step in and intervene so that informal settlers can devote their meager resources to food and education,” he said in a statement released to the media with a copy of his bill.
Under the program, eligible beneficiaries who have been displaced from their homes due to calamities can be provided rent subsidy that will make formal housing options accessible.
This will allow them to stay in areas closer to their source of livelihood.
The rental subsidy will be given to the beneficiaries until the date of completion of the permanent housing project or upon their actual transfer to the permanent housing project, whichever comes first.
If the completion of the permanent housing project is delayed, the rental subsidy will be extended and the implementing agency of the housing project shall shoulder the cost.
The House of Representatives approved the measure on third and final reading during the 18th Congress, but failed to hurdle the Senate.
If it gets enacted, the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) shall grant beneficiaries residing in Metro Manila a flat rate of P3,500. The DHSUD and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) shall determine the rate for those living in other regions.
The rental subsidy has a maximum contract of five years.
“Malaki ang maitutulong ng rental subsidy law sa paghikayat sa mga ISF na lisanin ang tirahan nila na malapit sa peligro (The rental subsidy is a big help to encourage the ISFs to vacate their homes that are near danger zones),” he said.