A Housing project aligned with the customs, beliefs and practices of Muslims is the latest breakthrough in the social development program of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University (AdZU).
In June 2016, AdZU’s Center for Community Extension Services (CCES) and Ateneo Center for Leadership & Governance (ACLG) signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), to partner in the development of the culturally-sensitive housing program.
The housing finance program, covering 16, 889 sq m in Mampang, will benefit 105 informal settler families (ISFs) of Binarao, Sta Catalina under the Multi Tribal Home Owners Association Inc (MTHOAI).
A ground-breaking ceremony was held last month with the Unveiling of the Marker and Planting of the Tree of Life led by Ma Ana R Oliveros, SHFC president, together with Dr Rebecca Fernandez, AdZU academic vice-president, representing AdZU president Fr Karel San Juan, SJ and Said S Amil Jr., MTHOAI president.
National and LGUs, NGOs, and academic institutions witness the Unveiling of the Marker and Planting of the Tree of Life that kicked off the Check/Letter of Guaranty Awarding ceremonies of the Housing project last February 17, 2017 in Mampang, Zamboanga City
Also present during the rites were representatives from various non-government organizations, the academe and local government units, including Datu Mussolini S Lidasan, executive director of Al-Qalam Institute for Islamic Identities and Dialogue in Southeast Asia; Atty Ferdinand C Iman, chief of operations-Mindanao, Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor; Councilor Josephine Pareja, Chairperson of the Committee on Urban Poor and POs and NGOs; Ma Socorro A Rojas, City Social Welfare and Development (OCSWD) Officer; and Kagawad Erico Rivera of Barangay Mampang.
Dr Rebecca Fernandez, AdZU academic vice president, delivers her message, in behalf of AdZU president Fr Karel San Juan, SJ.
Through SHFC’s flagship program, the Community Mortgage Program (CMP), a loan was acquired following a usufruct agreement which obliges SHFC to purchase the land in behalf of MTHOAI. MTHOAI, in return, is expected to pay monthly amortization to SHFC in two years’ time.
Loreta R Sta Teresa (extreme left), AdZU-CCES director details the Housing project during the Check/Letter of Guaranty Awarding ceremonies.
The housing project, considered a major development in housing for CMP, modified some guidelines to align to the traditions and way of living of Muslims, such as the use of the term, “interest” or “riba,” which is considered as forbidden or “haram” in Islam. It has three phases: first, land acquisition, followed by site development, and finally, house construction.
Other partners in the housing program include Ateneo de Davao University – Al Qalam Institute and Engineering Department, ZAMPEN Urban Poor Alliance, Inc., and LGU – Zamboanga.
Photo shows the Sharia’h compliant model house of the community, designed by AdDU–Engineering Department with inputs from MTHOAI.
SHFC is a government agency mandated to serve homeless Filipinos around the country through flexible, affordable, innovative and responsive community-driven social housing programs for ISFs. CMP is tasked with organizing ISFs and facilitating acquisition of the land they occupy or choosing their relocation site, in order to create sustainable communities.