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

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

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Delft - 20:37 PM
    Road name: R300 Southbound
    ROADWORKS - left lane closed at Hindle Road
  • Wednesday Sir Lowry's Pass - 17:57 PM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop 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

Nokia N9

The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where...

From R2899.85

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....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.