Program gives squatters
chance to own homes
By: Lorenzo O. Lambatin Jr.
BACOLOD City – Many informal settlers dream of owning a lot where they can build their home.
The Community Mortgage Program (CMP) of the National Housing Authority (NHA) here has turned that dream to reality, at least to more than a thousand of them.
Implemented several years ago, the CMP is based on the mutual agreement where legal owner of the lot agrees that squatters purchase the piece of land.
Once a deal is reached, the NHA provides the technical assistance to both parties. A funding agency pays the lot owner while squatters form an association and pay NHA their monthly dues that will all go to the funding agency.
The National Home Mortgage Finance Corp. used to finance the project but has now been turned over to the Social Housing Finance Corporation in 2007.
Because of CMP, 1,276 families in the province are now enjoying the ownership of the lot that once seemed a distant reality. There are 1,100 direct beneficiaries of the CMP while areas covered now reached approximately 14 hectares at the cost of P40 million.
In many standards, the CMP accomplishment is notable, considering Negros Occidental is famous for hacienderos owning big hectares of land for sugarcane production. The vast track of sugarcane fields supply more than half of the country’s sugar needs that’s even marketed abroad.
“Building home is building lives. If they (squatters) own the lot, the structure will follow and the will have no anxieties of being evicted,” NHA Provincial Manager Felix Silva said.