Former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani indirectly criticized the Colombian president’s plan to give 100,000 houses to the country’s poorest citizens, saying that people do not value objects they obtain free of charge.
Warning that he does not know the full details of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’ plan, Giuliani, speaking at a conference in Cartagena Friday, said that “people only value what they earn,” local news media reported.
“It is possible to give as part of a social policy,” he told the Colombian Congress of Construction. “But create a process in which giving is part of earning.”
Santos has been spearheading a plan, called the Rural Affordable Housing Program, which calls for the government to spend $75 million on 100,000 new and upgraded houses for poor and displaced families. The houses are to be completed by 2013, and the national government is expected to fund 80 percent of their cost, with municipal governments supplying the remaining 20 percent. Past affordable housing initiatives have required applicants to pay 10 percent of the cost.
Giuliani said the key to helping poorer families is to offer them work that allows them to earn income for housing, calling handouts “disrespectful,” according to Portafolio.co.
“Reward them if they evolve and earn a place in society through effort,” Giuliani said. “And take away the benefits if otherwise.”