The newly-appointed Minister of Housing, German Vargas Lleras, backed Petro’s plan as part of a new initiative called the Affordable Housing Priority (VIP), which would award 100,000 houses to Colombia’s poorest.
“There are 198 acres of underutilized land in the center. This land could be a great engine for the development of VIP in the city,” said Bogota’s mayor.
Lleras backed the proposed plan, saying “we would not have to send the poor to poorer sites farther from the city.”
Petro offered up vacant land in the southwestern Usme district of the city in April to begin building new housing, while the government was looking to start construction in the western Puente Aranda district, where land is currently occupied.
“We can’t wait for land in Puente Aranda to be vacated and we want Bogota to be part of this initiative,” said Lleras.
The Minister of Housing filed his plans for the housing initiative with Bogota’s administration office, which are expected to be approved by June 20.