Chavez rolls out housing for the poor

2012-06-26 11:03
AP

AP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Caracas - Just months before Venezuela's presidential elections, President Hugo Chavez is rushing the delivery of subsidised housing to low income people, financed through oil revenues.

Under the premise that no Venezuelan should be without decent housing, the government last year launched the "Great Venezuelan Housing Mission" to offset a 2.7 million unit shortfall and give Venezuelans "the greatest amount of happiness possible".

"Last year we delivered 146 178 houses. We broke the historic record. This year we have already delivered 70 661 and the goal is to reach 200 000," Chavez told Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his visit on Friday.

"And the goal for the next six years is to reach three million housing units. It is one of the most successful programmes of recent years," said Chavez, who hopes to be re-elected in October to a third six-year term.

The houses, which are being built all over Venezuela, are assigned through a national registry that signed up more than 3.6 million families between May and October.

Under the plan, the government will subsidise between 10 and 100% of the value of a home, depending on the buyer's income. The units range in value between $16 000 and $115 000.

War horse

Chavez, who is recovering from a recurrence of cancer, boasts that he is putting a roof over the heads of those "who were excluded for a long time by the bourgeoisie when they were in charge".

But the opposition accuses him of using the state's oil revenues to buy votes.

Economist Asdrubal Oliveros says the housing issue has become "the government's war horse in this presidential campaign".

"It would seem that the government has tied all its hopes of staying in power to the accelerated delivery of housing. At every crucial moment, Chavismo has found targets of opportunity, and in 2012 it's housing," he said.

Several months ago, state-run television began broadcasts every Thursday of ceremonies in different parts of the country where thousands of houses have been handed over to needy new owners.

These are massive occasions, presided over by some member of the government, in which the beneficiaries invariably express their gratitude to Chavez.

No urban development strategy

"They are experts on running a permanent campaign. People who don't have a house are sold on the idea that they could get one too," said Mariana Bacalao, a specialist in political communications at the Central University of Venezuela.

Oliveros, who believes the government's policies worsened a chronic housing shortage, says that at the current rate of delivery of new housing units the government will never meet its announced goals.

"The government is trying to sell sensation. It will not give away those three million houses to people, but some people will get a house," he said, adding that to the extent people think they will get a house, the government will benefit.

Analysts see other problems with the programme as well - the absence of a long term urban development strategy and hasty construction that has already resulted in some complaints about defective housing.

"The housing problem is not solved by building houses. What the state needs to build are services, and to provide planning and access to credit, and not this policy of immediate results," said historian Margarita Lopez Maya.

She noted that Chavez has launched housing programmes several times before and yet the housing shortage remains.

Oil reserves

In 2011 and 2012 alone, the government will devote $19.3m to the Great Housing Mission, according to Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez.

Venezuela produces an average three million barrels of oil a day, according to official figures, with prices hovering around $100 a barrel, although prices have lately fallen.

With that kind of income and the security of knowing that the world's largest reserves remain underground, the government has showered millions of poor Venezuelans over the past decade with social programmes, from healthcare, to pensions to subsidised food.

Analysts warn, though, of the nasty consequences for a country that depends on oil exports if the price of oil continues to fall.

Read more on:    hugo chavez  |  venezuela
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.