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Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) and Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU) recently forged a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to actively respond to the challenge of promoting culturally-sensitive and community-driven housing programs for the Muslims and other ethnical groups in Mindanao.

Based on data from the Zamboanga City local government, the estimated housing backlog is at 28,000. Some of this number can be attributed to the effects of Zamboanga siege in 2013, which displaced almost 14,300 families.

SHFC President Ma. Ana Oliveros said in her speech that SHFC is committed to expand its community-driven programs such as Community Mortgage Program (CMP), in order to reach more homeless Filipinos in the country, no matter what religion, or group they belong to.  In achieving this, Oliveros stressed the importance of partnership and the synergy of all sectors involved in the housing process. She also noted the role of housing in ensuring the community’s peace and order.

“Housing can help promote the issue of peace-building, gender equality, among others,” Oliveros added.

For ADZU President Fr. Karel San Juan S.J., the
partnership will bridge the gap of providing social development interventions such as housing in Zamboanga City, a long-time problem in the city due to multi-cultural and multi-ethnical issues.

ADZU has committed to tweak SHFC’s CMP in order to become responsive to the customs and beliefs of the Muslim community. ADZU will also provide technical assistance and implement capability building activities for 111 informal settler families (ISFs) who belong to Multi-tribal Homeowner’s Association (HOA), a community organization under SHFC’s CMP.

Also present in the MOU signing is Zamboanga City Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde who pledged support in the construction of socialized housing projects for Multi-tribal HOA.

“We’re building better and resilient communities, far better than what they were during the 2013 siege, through the principle of coordination,” Iturralde said.

Prior to the MOU signing, ADZU has facilitated Multi-tribal HOA’s community planning session. SHFC, on the other hand, invited ADZU personnel and other Zamboanga stakeholders for a learning exchange activity in various SHFC program sites in Metro Manila to showcase the community-driven approach in housing.

Earlier this year, SHFC has also partnered with Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City to also promote sustainability through community-driven housing and multi-sectoral collaboration.
PEACE AND SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH HOUSING. Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) and Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU) joined forces in providing housing solutions in Zamboanga City through community-driven and pro-Muslim policies. Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was led by SHFC President Ma. Ana Oliveros and ADZU President Fr. Karel San Juan, S.J.