Colombia’s housing deficit is dropping, according to a national statistical report and statements from the Colombian government released on Tuesday.
Housing Minister Luis Felipe Henao said on Tuesday that “the construction of social housing is helping the Colombian economy and reducing the housing deficit.”
His comments reflect the latest report from the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE).
In June 2013 the Colombian government stated it would invest $583 million for the building of 100.000 homes for low-income families across Colombia, a plan which seems to have had a positive effect in 2014.
According to the Inter-American Development Bank, one in three families in Latin America and the Caribbean, or 59 million people, live in dwellings that are either unsuitable for habitation or are built with poor materials and lack basic infrastructure services.
According to the report by DANE, in February area licensed for housing construction had an annual growth of 1.8%, up to 24,170,000 square feet.
Furthermore, the housing market has seen dramatic improvements with a growth dynamic of 9.5%. This acted as a partial offset of the 20.8% reduction of non-residential builds in Colombia.
The report also demonstrated that housing increased overall by 5.3%, due in large part to social projects implemented by the Ministry of Housing. An example of such a project is the Social Housing Project (VIS) which aimed to help those who earn less than minimum wage to be able to have a home; a project which registered helping 10,794 families.
Analyzing the figures for the period January-February 2014, the amount of housing units grew by 1.2 % due to the VIS.
“We are pleased with these growth figures…it demonstrates how the greatest engine of the economy has been the construction of social housing. This means that social housing is not only helping to reduce the housing deficit and enabling the most vulnerable to have their own homes, but is also helping to generate more jobs for Colombians,” concluded Henao.
Attempts to improve the housing deficit have been ongoing throughout President Juan Manuel Santos‘ term and in 2012 Santos promised to “award housing to the poorest of the poor, in the first phase, 100,000 houses completely free, without bank loans.”
- Licencias de Construcción (DANE)
- “Cifras de licenciamientos reveladas hoy por el Dane demuestran que la construcción de vivienda social está reduciendo el déficit habitacional”: (Ministry of Housing)
- Construcción de viviendas de interés social reduce déficit habitacional en Colombia (El Pais)
- Latin America and the Caribbean face large and growing housing deficit, IDB study says (Inter-American Development Bank)