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Housing department to tap homeowners associations for COVID-19 info drive

The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) said Thursday it is eyeing to tap some 24,000 homeowners associations (HOAs) nationwide to disseminate information related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) threat.

In a statement, Housing Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario said HOAs can play a crucial role in delivering the right information regarding the department’s policies, regulations, programs and activities to their respective communities in support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of enhanced community quarantine.

The Cabinet official said propagating correct information, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, can help improve government-led efforts in addressing the pandemic.

“By having close coordination with HOAs, we can assist the national government deliver only the right and proper information down to the community level which is very critical in addressing COVID-19,” Del Rosario said.

Since the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in March, DHSUD said it had implemented key measures in support of the government’s drive in easing the Filipinos’ burden in the housing sector brought about by the crisis.

The first was the declaration of a three-month moratorium on housing and short-term loan payments from DHSUD’s four key shelter agencies (KSAs) —namely the National Housing Authority, Home Development Mutual Fund or PagIbig Fund, Social Housing Finance Corporation, and the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation.

The move, which will benefit over 5.5 million member-borrowers, is likely to result in some P31.5 billion in non-collection by the KSAs.

The second was the enforcement of a two-month moratorium on in-house financing plans or credit intermediation extended by real estate developers to buyers of subdivision units, as well as condominium projects to be registered with the department.

Del Rosario had said that the unpaid amortizations during the moratorium will be payable within six months thereafter, “or any option that is mutually agreed upon by buyers and concerned developers,” without incurring any interests or penalties.

He added that the department is continuously seeking other measures that will benefit the country’s housing sector and ease public burden caused by the ongoing crisis.—AOL, GMA News