President Juan Manuel Santos will spend his Friday night in one of the apartments destined for Colombia’s poorest citizens as part of the government’s free housing initiative.
In 2012 the Santos government committed to the construction of 100,000 free homes to be given to the least privileged citizens across the country. The president announced this week that he, along with Housing Minister German Vargas Lleras, will spend a night in one of the apartments in order to check the quality of the housing.
The apartment that will house the president for a night will be chosen out of 320 of the 1,600 apartments in the Nando Marin housing project that are destined for the most disadvantaged citizens of Valledupar, the capital of the northern Cesar department.
According to Santos, the aim of the visit is to make sure “that the bathrooms work, and that when I go to have a shower I’m not going to end up with the tap in my hand without any water coming out.”
Another 30 apartments in the complex will reportedly be taken by the president’s entourage and security detail for the night.
Santos announced in January 2012 that $959 million had been allocated to the construction of the final 25,000 of the promised 100,000 homes, which are expected to be finished in 2013.
The president earlier this year moved to deny that the free housing project, named the Rural Affordable Housing Program, was simply a plan to ‘buy votes’ for the 2014 elections, after criticism from former President Alvaro Uribe.
Click here to see photos of the housing project Santos will sleep in.
Santos’ stay in the apartment came on the heels of his scheduled visit to the Vallenato festival which is also taking place in the Cesarean capital over the weekend.