Pasay, February 21 2011 — A 4-storey medium-rise building to house 112 families is rising on the Hankins Compound in Pasay City where 2-story ancestral house occupied by 52 families once stood. The building is slowly being completed through the concerted efforts of the leaders and members of the Samahan ng mga Nakatira sa Hankins Compound (SANAHACO), the homeowners’ association (HOA) composed of families living in the once-condemned house. After the old building was demolished, the construction of the new building started in March 2010. A botched construction job by a contractor delayed the project prompting the association members to take over the project themselves in the last quarter of 2010.
The project is a demonstration project under the Family-based Action for Children and their Environs in the Slums (FACES) project funded by UNDP and implemented by the Local Government Academy with UN-HABITAT technical support in 2008. The FACES Project supported the organization of the Hankins community and monitored the achievement of child MDGs for 40 children in the community through the Child MDG Progress Report Card. Various quick response mechanisms were implemented including urban gardens and savings mobilization which established the creditworthiness of the HOA. Subsequently, the community entered into a partnership with PBSP and obtained a loan to construct a medium-rise building. PBSP also ensured that the community is ready to pay for and manage their houses through various capacity building interventions. PBSP member-companies also helped reduce the cost of the building by giving substantial discounts on construction materials like cement, steel and paint. The city government granted usufruct rights to the community and provided counterpart funding of Php 4.0 million to be paid by the families over 25 years.
The community learned so much from the project as they have organized themselves into working committees responsible for project implementation and monitoring. Because of prudent management and close monitoring, a 24-square meter housing unit would cost only around P190,000. During the visit, the community proudly showed off the 48% completed building which has passed all the strength tests and boasts of a reed-based wastewater treatment facility. The community is also ready to manage a hydrophonics garden at the rooftop which is currently housed at the rooftop of the public market while awaiting completion of the building. Project completion is estimated to be on August 2011. By then, more than 100 families would have made their dream a concrete and strong reality.