Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos has finished only 10% of the 75,000 subsidized homes the head of state claims to have constructed, according to the leftist opposition.
At an event to inaugurate 550 new low-income homes in central Colombia on Wednesday, Santos announced that the government has completed 75% of the 100,000 housing units it promised to deliver by November 31, 2013.
Inflating the success rate
In fact, says Senator Jorge Robledo (Polo Democratico), the president of the Republic lied, and the number is closer to the 7% it was six months ago.
“Just three days ago, the Minister of Housing told me that 51,775 houses had been registered on paper. He also said that only 28,945 have deeds, in the same breath. And that is very far from 75,000,” Robledo told Colombia Reports.
In May, Robledo discovered that only 6,969 of Santos’ promised 100,000 subsidized housing units had been completed. Despite this, Santos continued to campaign on the success of his social housing program, even giving it credit for reducing the nation’s housing deficit.
According to Robledo, who has been attempting to bring the issue before congress for over a year, the government is tricking the public with doubletalk when it comes to subsidized housing.
“They play with words: approved, registered, titled, delivered, presented, transferred…and in the end, no one really knows what is going on,” Robledo said.
“Whichever of these figures you choose…it is impossible that the houses were delivered—and this is the word that Santos used—without being registered. That’s obvious. And it isn’t possible that the houses were registered without a deed.”
More congratulations in order
Santos made his declaration of 75% success at the inauguration of a disputed housing project in Ibague, Tolima.
The project developed amid an outcry of locals who claim that there was a complete lack of planning involved in the construction of the houses.
On Tuesday, Minister Henao told local newspaper El Nuevo Dia that the 550 new homes were “totally habitable,” with a guaranteed around-the-clock supply of drinking water.
However, the Ibague Water Oversight administration (VAPI) reported that the water supply is at only 15 out of 46 liters per second, and has not been treated for human consumption. Moreover, the water supply is being stolen from the nearby township of Boqueron, according to El Nuevo Dia.
Residents will have their water service rationed.
Henao has said that the first beneficiaries could occupy the homes in December; however, the municipal secretary of rural development, Francisco Montoya, said the titling process could delay the move-in date until February.
Santos began his free housing plan during his previous term in order to reduce inequality and poverty rates by providing subsidized housing the country’s poorest segment.
- Interview with Senator Jorge Robledo
- Santos firma contrato para construir otras 100.000 viviendas gratis (Caracol Radio)
- Falto planeación en viviendas gratis — veeduria agua para Ibagué (Video)
- Minvivienda garantizó agua potable para las primeras 550 viviendas de El Tejar (El Nuevo Dia)
- Gobierno sorteó las primeras 550 viviendas de El Tejar (El Nuevo Dia)
- Santos sortearía viviendas de El Tejar, en medio de polémica por el servicio de agua en la comuna 13 (El Nuevo Dia)