A Bogota attorney on Monday said he will sue the city’s mayor over plans to build homes for poor people in some of the capital’s most expensive neighborhoods.
Attorney Guillermo Rodriguez told radio station La FM that Mayor Gustavo Petro‘s scheme to curb socio-economic segregation “is inviting class hatred” which, he claimed, “doesn’t exist [in Bogota], not like the mayor wants it to be seen.”
According to Rodriguez, he is not trying to prevent the social housing projects to protect the interests of the neighborhoods’ affluent inhabitants, but to ensure that the public funds invested in the project are used well and to “protect the beneficiaries.”
The attorney stated in an interview with RCN La Radio that “the project is unreasonable, is neither sustainable nor efficient, and will be damaging to public assets.”
Colombia’s cities are stratified, allowing the inhabitants of designated poor urban areas to receive a subsidy on public utilities while those living in areas with the highest stratifications pay more than the actual cost for electricity, gas and water.
Bogota, since 2011 governed by the socialist mayor Gustavo Petro, has been wanting to curb socio-economic segregation for years.
In its 2015 proposal Territorial Planning proposal, the administration said it was seeking “the way to build non-segregated cities where all kinds of public spaces can be shared and where you can find several stratifications” in the same area.
The stated goal of Bogota’s latest initiative is to use seven parking lots, all owned by the Urban Development Institute, to build 372 homes. All of these lots are located in affluent neighborhoods, which would result in a sudden economic contrast in those areas.
While criticized locally, the project received praise from the director of United Nations Habitat in Colombia, Edgar Cataño, who was quoted by W Radio as saying that the project is a step “to end the inequality in Colombia, and the community should agree to and work with it.” For the UN official, the initiative represents an important step for Colombian cities in establishing equality and normalcy in the wake of the Colombian conflict.
The project will cost around $14.2 million. The resulting housing is expected to consist of seven-story buildings with underground parking and outdoors playgrounds to be used by children of both the social housing projects and their wealthier neighbors.
The homes are expected to be completed in the second half of 2015.
- Casas gratis en barrios estrato 6 no son un capricho: gerente de Metrovivienda (El Espectador)
- Viviendas para desplazados en El Chicó no son un capricho de Petro (Caracol Radio)
- Demandarán a Petro por viviendas para desplazados en zonas de estrato alto (LA FM)
- Naciones Unidas: viviendas “populares” en estrato 6 ayudarán a “romper la segregación” (W Radio)
- Abogado demandará a Petro por proyecto de vivienda (RCN La Radio)