Colombia’s Housing Minister has recognized that there is no money for subsidized housing or aqueducts with the ministry in need of more than $5 billion for just one project, reported Caracol Radio on Monday.
Housing Minister Luis Felipe Henao explained that the resources of the Ministry are all engaged in paying for the houses that were built by the previous administration of President Juan Manuel Santos, who has considerably restricted investment in 2015.
“Almost everything was given to previous houses that are already finished, the truth is that we ran too much too quickly and are out of money. Most importantly we are concerned about the issue of water supply. We only have $19 million available for investment in the aqueducts of Yopal, Santa Marta and Guajira,” he added. This comes less than three weeks after Henao announced an investment of $52 million in the drought-stricken state of La Guajira.
La Guajira has been severely hit by drought in the past year and the coming El Niño promises more of the same.
Henao said that he talked the matter over with his predecessor, Vice President German Vargas, and meets constantly with the Finance Minister to find a solution to this budget deficit that puts the programs of this portfolio at risk. “We can build more houses if they give us the possibility of compromising future years, however, the water is also a very serious issue. We told the vice president German Vargas that if he does not give us the money we will not be able to build the aqueducts.”
According to the accounts of the Congress the 300,000 new houses that were promised in the campaign would cost $6.5 billion and the ministry of housing just has $1.25 billion for investment.