Gran Mision Vivienda Venezuela calls the entire country to solve housing deficit

Caracas, 30 Abr. AVN .- Building two million households in seven years. That is the goal of the governmental program Gran Mision Vivienda Venezuela. A state policy that will deal for the fist time in the history of the country with housing drama in Venezuela in a joint effort led by President Chavez and his cabinet and all the other sectors willing to contribute.

Said social program is aimed at solving the current housing deficit giving a boost to the construction sector. It will start with the construction of 150,000 households this year; 200,000 households the next; and from the following year on the average is expected to be 300,000.

Chavez, when announced some of the characteristics of the program on February 13, stated that solving the housing drama is just possible working all together. Therefore, he made a call to join private and public sectors, the banking system, workers, honest businesspeople and international allies, such as Cuba, Iran, China, Belarus, Russia, Portugal and Brazil.

The housing program is composed of five main axis to cover all the aspect related to this problem. The first consists on a national registry to know with certitude the number of families that do not have a house or are living in high-risk situation.

The second is a registration of the lands that can be used for the construction of households. The third axis is a registration of the domestic and foreign constructor companies, including independent workers and communal companies.

The fourth aspect is related to financing. In this regard, Chavez pointed out that it will be destined $6.98 billion this year to build 150,000 households: half of the sum will be granted by the State and the rest by the private banking. So far, the President has already approved over $4.19 billion in housing projects.

“The Government alone will not finance housing. Private banking can finance a sector of the population. They [banks] have to finance poor people, professionals and middle sectors without speculative measures,” Chavez pointed out.

The last axis is related to construction materials.

Legal framework

By the end of 2010, Chavez announced that he would take the housing problem in Venezuela as a personal matter.

After the Enabling Law passed by the National Assembly to give him the power to legislate as a result of the heavy rains that swept the country leaving almost 130,000 people homeless, the head of State kept his promise and the second decree-law passed by Chavez was the Organic Law on Emergencies for Lands and Housing.

The objective of the Law is to establish extraordinary mechanisms under the control of the Executive branch, in coordination with foreign, national, public and private institutions, to fight efficiently against the housing crisis in Venezuela, which was caused by the capitalist model.

The regulation explained that the head of State will be directly in charge of the National System of Housing and Habitat through a superior organ that will be attached to the Presidential Office. Said organ was officially created on March 28 with its publication in the Official Gazette.

The superior organ will be coordinated by the vice-president of the Council of Ministers for Territorial Development. Other members will be the ministers of Housing and Habitat; Science, Technology and Intermediate Industries; Interior and Justice; Defense; Basic Industries and Mining; Communes and Social Protection; Environment; and the State minister for the Revolutionary Transformation of the Gran Caracas.

The Law on Emergencies guarantees the right to housing, giving priority to families living in risk zones, those who do not own their own house and young couples.

One of the competences of the Executive consists on the granting of lands and housing to families in those conditions, through financing plans at preferential conditions or partial or total subsidies on the value of the household.

Likewise, the legal instrument establishes that the State can declare as of public utility the lands in condition for the construction of households but that are abandoned, idled or misused, located in Vital Areas for Households and Residences (Avivir in Spanish).

Within the Avivir, the State will reorganize the distribution and use of the space to devoted as a priority and urgently for the construction of households, micro communities, small or big neighborhoods or new cities.

Moreover, the Superior Organ can label as urgent the execution of the works, which would allow the State to occupy idle or misused non-residential lands or properties. Likewise, it is also possible the urgent occupation and use of essential goods needed for the construction of households, as well as fixing the sold price of such items.

Census

The Law establishes the appointment of a special commission to conduct a national registry of families eligible to receive households granted by the State. The Science, Technology and Intermediate Industries minister is in charge of said task.

The survey will collect all the necessary information from all the family members and the data of the houses that were damaged “by calamities, catastrophes or any other social or natural event.”

“The national registry will be the information basis on which the decisions for granting households will be made,” said the vice-president of the Council of Ministers for Territorial Development, Rafael Ramirez on April 9.

Past Monday, President Chavez informed that the registry process will start this Saturday for the people living in the makeshift shelters created as a contingency for the heavy rains that have been falling in Venezuela since the last trimester of 2010.

Financing

The Superior Organ of the National Housing System will establish the mandatory portion of the banking credit portfolio that has to be destined for the purchase of main residence as stipulated by the Emergencies Law, which is not related to the mortgage portfolios that are established by other laws.

In addition, it will promote the creation of tools to attract resources to finance the National Housing and Habitat System and the creation of people"s organizations devoted to savings and credits on housing and habitat.

On Monday, the President explained the way families will pay for the houses they are being granted. Families with incomes below the minimum wage will receive a temporary subsidy of 100% of the value of their house.

If the family has an income equal to the minimum wage, the subsidy will be of 80%; with incomes up to two minimum wage will pay 44% of the value.

All those credits are for a 25-years term and at very low interests.

The Housing and Habitat minister Ricardo Molina asserted recently that lands and materials for the construction of households in 2011 and 2012 are already guaranteed and that the Government has stayed in touch with over 150 domestic and foreign construction companies that want to join the program.

Property guaranteed

The Gran Mision Vivienda Venezuela has a legal framework establishing the property of the houses, as it was published in the Official Gazette on April 6.

The regulation establishes that the State guarantees the right to family and multi-family properties on the housing units built as part of the housing program.

As explained within the text, family property is related to the house itself and the multi-family property is related to “the lands, facilities and common areas of the building.”

The law establishes that once the Superior Organ grants the total of households composing a housing project, then it will transfer the land property to all the families in it.

“The multi-family property is not divisible and it comes fully into effect when the family property is formalized,” the text reads.

To date, 366 families have already received their multi-family deeds in Venezuela.

AVN 30/04/2011 14:19
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