ABOUT 500 families affected by the 2017 siege in Marawi City will benefit from the permanent housing project of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM).

UN-Habitat, in a statement Monday, said the project is part of its Japan-funded Rebuilding Marawi through Community-Driven Shelter and Livelihood Project.

Among the identified beneficiaries are families who cannot rebuild their homes at the six-meter easement along the Agus River and the reclaimed area in front of Lake Lanao.

The housing units will be put up on a 39-hectare land that the National Housing Authority (NHA) acquired and developed.

Each 46-square meter, one-storey house will be built on a 90-square-meter lot. It will include a toilet and a kitchen as well as electrical and plumbing systems.

Bernhard Barth, UN-Habitat- Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific human settlements officer, said the project, which broke ground Monday, “marks a very important phase in our contribution to achieving durable solutions for Marawi’s displaced population. We are grateful to NHA for granting this patch of land, where in a few months, we will see a new community breathe with life.”

Among those tapped to work for the project are internally displaced people with skills, who will be paid under the livelihood component of the UN-Habitat program.

Last month, UN-Habitat also launched a P44.2 million livelihood project, which will help about 4,000 families, with priority given to women, elderly, and households headed by women.

Of the total fund, P14.2 million serve as start-up capital that will be divided among 30 cooperatives. The P30 million balance is allocated for the implementation of the Citywide Sustainable Livelihood tract, designed to provide skills training and capability-building activities to beneficiaries.

Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council Chairperson Eduardo D. Del Rosario, also chair of the TFBM composed of 56 agencies, said the December 2021 target to complete the Marawi rehabilitation remains on track. — Carmelito Q. Francisco