Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signed into law Wednesday his plan to give 100,000 houses to the country’s poorest citizens.
The new and upgraded houses, subsidized completely by the federal and the local governments, are to be completed by 2013. To achieve this goal, the government has already allocated $75 million this year for the project, but the total costs could reach $4.2 billion, according to government estimates.
Priority will be given to families already registered with the National Agency for Extreme Poverty, Santos said. More than 410 potential projects had already been submitted by various city mayors, he said.
At the signing, Santos spoke of expanding the plan, called the Rural Affordable Housing Program, in subsequent years.
“Our objective is much more ambitious,” he said. “We want in the next four to have brought more than 350,000 families out of extreme poverty.”
According to government statistics, 10.6 percent of Colombians, approximately 4.9 million people, live in extreme poverty.