Mandaue Incremental Housing Construction

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Focus Areas: Housing

The Mandaue 7 Cities Upgrading project, which was started in 2012, involves construction of two-storey housing units on 28m2 plots. Twelve (12) communities living along a creek are involved in this project and are being relocated to a site in Barangay, Paknaan, Mandue City. The site is 6.5 hectares and been subdivided into approximately one thousand two hundred (1,200) plots. Construction has begun and labour costs, namely the weekly wages of the construction workers, are borne by beneficiaries.

This project is a demonstration of community-driven upgrading with the relocated families leading in the planning and implementation of the housing construction in the site.

Location: Barangay, Paknaan, Mandaue, Philippines


The incremental construction of houses on a 6.5 hectare plot of land in Barangay, Paknaan. The row houses will be two storeys each and will be built using Interlocking Compressed Earth Blocks (ICEB). As of June 2015, forty-one (41) houses had been built. A second group of housing participants from the above 6 associations in the Paknaan 6.5 Relocation Site, started their own housing project through community savings. Total savings with the Area Resource Center (ARC) now amount to Php 2,974,000.00 or USD 66,088.00 (USD1 = 45) for the construction of their houses. To date, the 2nd batch has built:

 17 units complete core house, fully paid by the corresponding housing unit owner;

 2 units complete core house, still not fully paid by the assigned owners, and;

 4 units under construction while owners are saving up to complete construction.

Enumeration of eight hundred and seventeen (817) households has also been undertaken by Federation volunteers in eleven (11) municipalities. 

Community capacity:

The rate of savings and repayment within the affected communities is high. As of June 2015, the four hunded and twenty (420) families residing in the relocation site had saved Php 100,000. The Homeless People's Federation Philippines Inc. (HPFPI) hopes that this amount will increase as more members of the 12 associations will be relocated to the site and the groups strengthened with their respective community initiatives/activities.

Challenges for the project include how to strengthen the collaboration of the twelve communities under one institutional umbrella and how best to create common directions towards the shelter solutions in the relocation sites through direct purchase and the Community Mortgage Programme (CMP) process.


The project can be scaled up at the settlement and city levels. Formal (registered associations) and informal groups have expressed interest in replicating the processes in their respective communities, after seeing the two model houses and the construction process. 


The project is a showcase for the Federation and the Government of inner city upgrading. It also demonstrated the possibilities of collaboration between strong communities, Government and a network of technical and legal support providers on a community-initiated and managed inner-city upgrading project which aims to improve tenure through the development of sites  and housing.


SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed US$125,000.00

Resources Leveraged:

The project has leveraged funds from the Government who constructed a ten metre (10m) wide main access road with drainage and landfilling materials. The total cost of installing this road was US$2,538,095.23. 

State Subsidy:

The State subsidy was in the form of service installation, namely the construction of a main access road which cost US$2,538,095.23.

Market Generated Returns:

None to date.

Costs recovered from community:

At present, total repayments made by the community amount to Php 1,558,519.37.

Sonia Cardinogara (+63) 2 455 9480

Project information updated: 26 February 2016

Project in depth

Detailed Information

This project sees the Philippines Alliance, Philippine Action for Community-led Shelter Initiatives Inc (PACSII) and Homeless People’s Federation Philippines Inc (HPFPI) embark on an upgrading project in Mandaue in 2012 as part of SDI’s 7 Cities project. In January 2011, heavy rain resulted in a flash floods across Mandaue City. This affected the safety of the community situated on a riverside which has lived there for over three decades. One community located in front of a large commercial establishment served as a catch basin and an exit point of flowing water coming from hilly adjacent barangays during heavy rains. Initial discussions between these communities and the Mandaue City Government were conducted to come up with alternative solutions for the safety of the actual occupants living in high-risk areas. 


The initial aim was to construct one hundred and ten (110) houses. However this figure was revised downward to forty-nine (49). Of these forty-nine houses to be built, only forty-one will be built as the rest of the funds will be utilised to purchase septic tanks. 

To ensure that the process remains affordable for beneficiaries, only a core structure (structural frame, roofing, walls, flooring, basic plumbing and septic tank, and electrical wiring) is constructed. Doors, windows, partitions, finishes and other fixtures are added in by the family incrementally. Interlocking compressed earth blocks (ICEB) are being used as primary building material. This lowers housing construction costs further, due to the abundance of limesoil on the island. The housing units are provided with individual ‘Kotec’ plastic septic tanks and the main drainage line is provided by the City Government. The housing design was agreed upon by the beneficiaries during a housing design workshop held in November 2011. 

Community capacity:

Housing participants of the 7 cities project visited the housing project of the Lower Tipolo Homeowners Association, Inc. (LTHAI) and were inspired by how LTHAI community was able to overcome their situation, i.e. as disaster survivors, and undertake their own development.

Through this project, several beneficiaries who were not part of the Federation are now active savers. The project will remain sustainable as long as the community continues its savings. It is the Federation’s practice that before a community becomes a project beneficiary, they must undergo savings orientation so that they will understand why such a programme has been initiated. Another factor that contributes to the project’s sustainability is the beneficiaries’ initiative to save also for their cash/labour equity once construction commences. 


The use of the site and the two (2) model houses as a learning node will ensure that lessons learnt during the implementation of the project can be shared with other communities thereby enabling project replication not just across the city but nationwide too.


The main objective behind the implementation of the project was to highlight the importance of community involvement in initiatives that have a direct impact on their lives. That is, the main objective is to highlight that communities can make significant contributions towards the improvement of their wel-being and safety and without their contributions projects affecting them will not be successful.

The impact of this project can be best seen in its replication in other local governments jurisdictions. The host city of the UPF 7 Cities project is receiving delegates from other cities for learning exchanges around the Tripartite Housing Initiatives to reduce the number of homeless families. 

Through lobbying by the Federation's network nationwide, exceptions to the National Policy relating to permits from the National Agencies concerned with housing will be granted. 


SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed a total of US$125,000.00. Of this amount, US$110,000 went towards capital expenses and the difference (US$15,000) covered project-linked technical assistance expenses. 

Resources Leveraged:

In addition to providing the main access road, the Government also provided drainage and landfilling materials to the Federation. 

Costs recovered from community:

To date three (3) beneficiaries have repaid their loans to the Federation in full. Other participants have started and continue to save.

Carcellar, N., Rayos Co, J.C. & O Hipolito, Z. Addressing Disaster Risk Reduction through Community-rooted Interventions in the Phillippines: Experience of the Homeless People's Federation of the Philippines. [Online]. Available:
Cebu Daily News. (2012). Relocation Site Unsafe, says Ex-M'daue Dad. [Online]. Available:
Rayos Co, J. C. (2010). Community-driven Disaster Intervention: Experiences of the Homeless People's Federation Philippines, Incorporated (HPFPI). [Online]. Available:
Environmental Science for Social Change. (2010). Risk Assessment of Relocation Sites for the Homeless Poor. [Online]. Available:
Mamo, J. (2015). Settlement Planning and Design: Experiences from Mandaue City, Philippines. [Online]. Available:
Paradiang, L. (2012). The Mandaue City Informal Settlers' Relocation Site. [Online]. Available:

Funding Information



Funding type:

Grant funding

Implementing Partners

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Philippine Action for Community-led Shelter Initiatives (PACSII) & Homeless People's Federation of the Philippines Inc. (HPFPI)