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Rent control extended

Manila, Philippines – Good news for families renting homes in the metropolis.

The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) has decided to extend rent control for two more years, according to Vice President Jejomar C. Binay.

In a statement, Binay, concurrent chairman of the HUDCC, said the rent raise cap applies to residential units in the National Capital Region (NCR) and other highly urbanized cities whose monthly rent does not exceed P10,000 and those in other areas with rental rates up to P5,000 a month.

Under the Rent Control Act of 2009 (Republic Act 9653) that will expire on December 31, rents of these housing units shall not be increased by more than seven percent annually as long as the units are occupied by the same lessees.

“We want to help renting families have a breathing room given the recent increases in power rates and the natural calamities we experienced,” Binay said.

The housing czar explained that Section 6 of the law grants the HUDCC the authority “to continue the regulation of the rental of certain residential units, to determine the period of regulation and its subsequent extension if warranted, to determine the residential units covered, and to adjust the allowable limit on rental increases per annum.”

The HUDCC decided to recommend the extension of rent control at status quo rates up to December 2015 based on the initial results of a study commissioned by the agency, Binay said.

The study was conducted by the Statistical Research and Training Center (SRTC), an attached agency of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

According to the Vice President, preliminary results of the study showed that about 1.5 million households or 7.2 percent of the total 21.5 million households nationwide are renters. Of them, 97 percent pay P10,000 and below monthly.

In 2012, the monthly average family income of renters in the country was P23,968, with P27,246 for NCR and P20,794 for other areas. Families in NCR spend about 12.4 percent of their income for house rent. (JC Bello Ruiz)