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Community Mortgage Program: A Case Study of the ALCOP Homeowners Association, Inc.

Philippine Journal of Labor and Industrial Relations
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pjlir 2007.pmd 1Vol. XXVII Nos. 1 & 2 2007 Community Mortgage Program: A Case Study of the ALCOP Homeowners Association, Inc. Isagani A. F. YUZON * Isagani A.F. Yuzon, Ph.D. is Coordinator of Graduate Studies Program, School of Labor and Industrial Relations and Asian Public Intellectual Senior Fellow Introduction The housing problem in the country is manifested in various forms— the proliferation of informal housing arrangements (e.g. squatting, ownership of structure without lease, poor quality of dwelling and infrastructure services); the growth of room letting, which create enormous congestion; unregulated housing and zoning; and land use conflicts. The Philippines is one of the countries with a very high level of urbanization in Southeast Asia. By 1990, half of the country has become nearly urban, representing an urbanization level second only to Malaysia among the developing countries in the region. But compared to South Korea, Malaysia and Thailand, the Philippines’ per capita income rate has not been impressive. The combined effect of a high urbanization rate and low per capita income has unavoidably led to growing poverty in the urban centers. Poverty incidence in urban areas has increased steadily over the past two decades. Although it is generally believed that only the urban poor live in slum and squatter settlements, the shortage of affordable housing 2 Philippine Journal of Labor and Industrial Relations sites is forcing more and more of their non-poor counterparts into these informal settlements. Compared to other countries having more or less the same level of per capita income, the Philippines has the most number people living in squatter colonies. There are two (2) explanations for this situation—overurbanization and a poor supply of low-cost housing units. Overurbanization as a phenomenon refers to a stage where a higher degree of urbanization exists relative to the rates warranted by their degrees of industrialization. In our case there is

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