Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board
The Philippine real estate market has seen a tremendous growth in recent years, particularly in the residential space, as the demand for dwelling continues to grow especially in rapidly urbanizing areas.
As the property sector remains to be a thriving market, there is an increasing need for homebuyers to be protected from institutions which might misrepresent or take advantage of them. This is where the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) comes in.
Which government agency oversees the organization of homeowners associations? Who gives out licenses to sell condominium units? Which board ascertains the stability of a housing project? Who should mediate when it comes to land conflicts? HLURB takes care of all of these, and more.
The Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) is the country’s primary government agency tasked with providing technical support in matters including, but not limited to: housing regulations, land development and homeowners associations, and settlement of land disputes. HLURB operates via a triad of strategies: policy development, planning and regulation. Its services cater to home buyers, developers, homeowners associations, brokers and local government units.
The commission is composed of public service professionals working towards its main thrust of creating competently planned and sustainable centers of population through its said functions and responsibilities in land use and regulation.
Part of HLURB’s undertaking is to enforce policies on land use all the while promoting inclusive growth and economic advancement, social justice and environmental protection for the equitable distribution and enjoyment of development benefits.
In September 19, 1973 (a year after the declaration of Martial Law), Pres. Ferdinand Marcos via Executive Order no. 419 declared the creation of the Task Force on Human Settlements which served as a framework plan for the country that would locate priority areas for human settlement initiatives. Under Presidential Decree no. 933 signed in May 13, 1976 by the same president, the Human Settlements Commission was created to facilitate land reform programs in that time. Presidential Decree no. 1396 of 1978 renamed it to Human Settlements Regulatory Commission and was given an initial budget release of P100 million. It was reorganized as the Human Settlements Regulatory Commission by virtue of Executive Order no. 648 in 1981 under the same regime.
In December 17, 1996, the commission was identified in Executive Order no. 90 as one of the government agencies essential for the six-year National Shelter Program under Pres. Corazon Aquino – it was at this time that the name was changed to what we now know as the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board. To update, BALAI Filipino (Building Adequate, Livable, Affordable, and Inclusive Filipino Communities) is Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s 10-year national housing strategy program that brings together key shelter agencies (including HLURB) in order to improve the performance of the housing sector.
Executive Order no. 90 primarily enabled the creation of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) – the main government body responsible for all housing sector efforts. HUDCC manages the overall administration and supervision of the key shelter agencies:
The Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) was established on June 11, 1978 under Presidential Decree no. 1530. Also known as Pag-IBIG Funddauavczcuerw , it is the country’s national savings program that provides assistance in affordable shelter financing for Filipino workers.
The government owned and controlled Home Guaranty Corporation (HGC) encourages banks, developers and financial institutions to let individual home buyers loan cash while at the same time issues guarantees to the lending private sectors. The corporation, first known as Home Financing Commission, was created by virtue of Republic Act no. 580 in September 15, 1950.
For low income families who lack the capacity to procure a housing loan, the National Housing Authority (NHA) engages in low-cost housing production and development, resettlement and sourcing of home financing. NHA originates from the merging of the People’s Homesite Corporation and the National Housing Commission on October 4, 1947.
The National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC), created in 1977 under Presidential Decree 1267, is mandated to make more affordable housing loans available to Filipino homebuyers. It does so by operating a feasible home mortgage market made up of public and private financial institutions.
The Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) was created in January 20, 2004 under Executive Order no. 272. The corporation is mandated to propagate housing programs for formal and informal settlers in the low-income groups.
HLURB, together with all the other agencies, work towards providing viable and affordable housing programs for the Filipino people.
HLURB provides assistance to home buyers by providing a list of important reminders to consider when deciding to buy a property.
Before a purchase, buyers are encouraged to request for the necessary certifications, namely the Certificate of Registration and License to Sell, requirements of which is dictated by the HLURB. The associated website (www.hlurb.gov.ph) lists projects covered with thesaid documents as well as ongoing cases such as cease and desist orders and suspensions. A site visit is also recommended. For verified projects, buyers must check and assess the following: date of completion, Clearance to Mortgage if property is mortgaged, facilities and amenities in advertisements are in accordance with the HLURB approved plan. When a buyer is ready to purchase a property, he/she must make sure that the real estate professional they are transacting with possesses complete HLURB brokers’ registration documentation, and is also duly licensed with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). A visit to the Registry of Deeds is also a must to make sure that the property has not been sold to other buyers. The buyer must also check if the materials used conform to standards and approved construction specifications as verified with HLURB. The water system and who would pay for the water and electric meters, the perimeter fence, etc. are also good points to consider.
Before signing the contract to sell, buyers are reminded not to sign a blank form and to read the form thoroughly particularly the terms and conditions. Securing a copy of the contract and other related documents is also suggested. Buyers must pay directly to the owner or authorized marketing agent of the project and make sure that the contract will be registered to the Registry of Deeds. Finally, buyers must never forget to obtain the official receipt.
HLURB names three buyer’s rights to protect the consumer.
The buyer has the right to a clean title of the purchased property upon full payment. The owner or developer of a mortgaged property is directed to be redeemed within six months from full payment. The right is directly stated in Section 25 of Presidential Decree no. 957 (PD 957). The buyer shoulders only the registration fee for the deed of sale in the Registry of Deeds. In Section 26 of the same decree, realty taxes are levied upon the buyer if he/she has possessed and occupied the property prior to transfer of title under his/her name.
There are instances when a project does not come out as agreed on the approved plan and does not comply within the given timeframe. In this case, the buyer has the right to suspend payment upon notification to the owner or developer that he/she will do so. This is stated in Section 23 of PD 957. Furthermore, buyer can opt to demand a full refund of the total payments made with legal interest.
A buyer who falls short of the agreed installments may invoke his/her rights under Republic Act no. 6552 of the Realty Installment Buyer Protection Act. It is also provided under Section 24 of PD 957.
Violations of provisions stated in PD 957 warrant administrative and criminal penalties. HLURB takes over as a quasi-judicial entity to assess the administrative aspect of the case while the criminal sanctions are filed at the fiscal’s office.
HLURB offers owners and project developers processing services for the Approval of Condominium Plan which covers the Development Permit, Conversion Plan and Alteration Plan. It is also the primary proponent in the issuance of the Certificate of Registration (CR) and License to Sell (LS) Subdivision/Condominium Projects and Other Real Estate Projects.
The commission supervises the activities of developers via a set of responsibilities and obligations. The developers shall ensure that the following are taken care of:
Note on Banks and Other Financial Institutions
Developmental loans or loans in which the property is made collateral, requires clearance from HLURB as stated in Section 18 of PD 9657. Approval requires that the proceeds of the mortgage shall be used for the development of the project and measures have been made to ensure its use. Buyers of mortgaged units have the option to pay installments for purchased units directly to the mortgagee (developer). The latter applying the payments to the particular lot as loan payment so that title can promptly be turned over to the buyer once fully paid.
Executive Order no. 45, signed by Pres. Gloria Arroyo in October 4, 2001, lists the rules and regulations for the approval of housing permits. The EO also provides a specific timeframe for government agencies to accomplish such documents as well as options for developers when the agencies fail to do so.
As stated in Republic Act no. 9904, also known as the Magna Carta for Homeowners and Homeowners Associations, a homeowners association is a non-stock and non-profit corporation registered with HLURB, organized and composed of lot/unit owners and legal occupants or lessees within the jurisdiction of a residential real property that is government owned and operated or exclusively owned by private developers.
Upon the initiative of the developer to create an association, HLURB then takes over the registration and supervision of the said group. During registration, applicants should be able define the association’s purpose, its powers and duties, membership rules, meeting arrangements, fees and dues, its board of directors and officers, committees, fiscal management and more provisions.
The following documents are processed through and issued by HLURB:
You may visit http://hlurb.gov.ph/services/hoa/list-of-hoa/ for the lists of registered homeowners associations nationwide.
Registration of Brokers, Dealers and Salespersons
Salespersons and real estate brokers who have not registered themselves with the Authority are not allowed to engage in the business of selling subdivision lots or condominium units. The Authority, as mandated under PD 957 , refers to HLURB as the authorized registry of said salespeople dealing with condominium units, farm lots, memorial parks and subdivision projects.
You may visit http://hlurb.gov.ph/services/brokers/list-of-brokers/ for the lists of registered brokers and salespersons nationwide.
Comprehensive Land Use Plans
HLURB assists LGUs in the preparation of Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUPs). These are general plans that serve as references for the future land utilization plans of a particular community. Land use may refer to how land is used, allocated, developed and managed by the local government unit. Its objectives include the efficient use of natural resources and the promotion of advantageous patterns of land utilization to minimize waste. Some samples are Land Classification, National Land Use and Allocation Scheme, Zoning and Land Use Conversion. Conflicts frequently arise in land use among private and public individuals and corporations- HLURB also functions as mediator when it comes to these cases.