By Mike Baños
The country’s first Italo-Filipino joint venture has taken aim at the country’s growing housing shortage with its latest affordable housing project.
Inspired by William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet which is set in Verona, Italy, Ar. Romulo V. Nati, said he is particularly proud of this project because it’s the first Green economic development of Italpinas Development Corporation(IDC).
“Every unit will have a French balcony, and while the units range from 21-26 square meters, they will be livable, “Green” (with increased fresh natural ventilation typical of all IDC Projects), and very affordable which are ideal for the economic market,” Ar. Nati said in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the November 13 sales launch held at a local hotel.
A French balcony is also known as a “Juliet” balcony, a reference to Shakespeare’s play, where he wrote how Juliet looked out of her bedroom window to talk to Romeo. It means a balcony without a floor. Instead, a large window or double doors open inward to reveal a balcony railing you can lean out of.
Verona Green Apartments will have a walk-up layout to keep the units accessible in terms of price, but as its name implies will also have the environment friendly “green” features IDC pioneered and won design accolades for in its Primavera Residences and Primavera City units like solar PV panels to generate electricity for the common areas and further reduce operating and maintenance costs for its residents.
Nati said the project is a response to Italpinas’ desire to make green residences accessible to people who cannot afford the previous units they constructed like Primavera Residences and Primavera City.
PH Housing Shortage
George Siy, chairman of the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association, Inc., told CNN Philippines how surveys from three years ago showed the backlog of houses at three million, far less than the current shortfall which reached 6.5 million. He noted that the growing population is moving faster than the rate of housing production exacerbated further by rising prices.
“(The shortage) continues to grow because our population is growing faster than our production of houses,” Siy said. “”From a production viewpoint, we have another problem. That is the growing housing shortage.”
Of Housing Secretary Jose Acuzar’s goal of one million houses produced each year, Siy noted only 200,000 to 300,000 houses are actually produced annually.