AIM RSN PCC WP 2018-004
Mapping the 4IR At-Risk Workers in the Philippines
AIM RSN PCC WP 2018-003
Drivers of Philippine SME Competitiveness: Results of the 2018 SME Survey
AIM RSN PCC WP 2018-002
Federal Governments Around the World: A Comparative Perspective
AIM RSN PCC WP 2018-001
An Empirical Analysis of Decentralization and Poverty in the Philippines
Socioeconomic Issues on Spotlight


Housing has been a critical challenge among the poor in the Philippines. Given that decent housing and even housing alternatives are limited, many of the country's poor are forced to resort to informal settling and occupying indecent and often risky spaces, such as bridges, riverbanks, and streets (Ballesteros and Ramos 2017).

This problem, however, is not only shared by the poorest of the poor. Even low-income families find it hard to secure their place in the formal housing market (Ballesteros et. al 2015). For most of them, food and water simply weigh more than their roof.

Shelter deprivation is most prominent in Metro Manila, whose population has steadily ballooned to 13 million in recent years. In 2014 alone, the Philippine Statistics Authority noted that more than a fifth (23%) of families in Metro Manila lived in rented houses. Many of these units often lack basic services and are congested (Ballesteros and Ramos 2017).

The government has implemented key housing programs to address these issues. One of these programs is the National Housing Authority (NHA) Resettlement Program, which involves the acquisition and development of land areas into serviced home lots or core housing units. While it includes in-city projects, which the poor usually prefer given their long-term benefits, Ballesteros and Enaga (2013) found that these projects are only found in the regions and provinces outside Metro Manila. Meanwhile, NHA did not develop an in-city resettlement site for families displaced by the North and South Rail project.

Another program is the National Shelter Program (NSP), which aimed to increase the housing stock for the country's poor. Despite this program, however, the housing figures barely improved. In terms of housing targets, the NSP only met a third of the total housing need and barely covered the housing backlog (Ballesteros 2009). Overall, it only delivered 26 percent of its target. The government must, therefore, look for alternative forms of low-cost housing and innovative financing schemes that would provide Filipinos with secure safe and decent housing. It should also develop a reliable and sustainable database system for identifying beneficiaries of government housing programs, develop a standard system for updating the Comprehensive Land Use Plans, strengthen enforcement of property rights, rationalize housing subsidy, and increase public expenditure on housing (Ballesteros 2009).

The Socioeconomic Research Portal for the Philippines (SERP-P) has a collection of studies on housing, including those by Ballesteros et. al. (2017) on the assessment of the Community Mortgage Program implementation strategy, Ballesteros (2009) on revisiting housing policies for the poor, and Ballesteros (2011) on the fiscal costs of subsidies for socialized housing programs.

For more related studies, simply type "Housing" in the search box of the SERP-P website.

RPS 2017-01  An Assessment of the Community Mortgage Program Implementation Strategy
PIDS Book 2017-01  Unintended Consequences: The Folly of Uncritical Thinking
PN 2016-18  Is the Community Mortgage Program Propoor?
DP 2015-41  An Assessment of the Community Mortgage Programs of the Social Housing Finance Corporation
PN 2013-20  Strengthening Mortgage-Backed Securitization in the Philippines: The Role of the National Housing Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC)
PN 2013-17  Best Practices in Mortgage-backed Securitization for the Underserved Housing Market: Lessons for the Philippine Housing Finance
DP 2013-43  Feasibility of Mortgage-Backed Securitization for the Underserved Housing Market in the Philippines
PN 2013-03  Community-based Approaches Toward Upgrading of Informal Settlements: Alternative Strategies and Recommendations for Policymaking
DP 2013-28 (Revised)  Efficiency and Effectiveness Review of the National Housing Authority Resettlement Program
DP 2011-20  Analysis of the President`s Budget for 2012
PN 2011-14  Fiscal Costs of Subsidies for Socialized Housing Programs: an Update
PN 2009-04  Housing Policy for the Poor: Revisiting UDHA and CISFA
DP 2009-21  Toward a Strategic Urban Development and Housing Policy for the Philippines
25509  Options of public income support for the unemployed in the Philippines and social protection
DRN 2005 Vol. XXIII No. 4-a  Rental Housing: Opening Doors for Low-income Households
UPSE DP 1974-05  Housing Consumption in the Philippines