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Colombia to spend $738 mn on housing programmes

Mexico,Business/Economy, Mon, 30 Apr 2012 IANS

Bogota, April 30 (IANS/EFE) Colombia plans to invest 1.3 trillion pesos (about $738.13 million) in housing programmes "for the poorest of the poor", which it is adding to the plan to provide 100,000 homes free to the most vulnerable among the population, President Juan Manuel Santos said.


The president explained his housing strategy in his so-called "Agreement for Prosperity" No. 70, Saturday in Inirida, capital of the jungle province of Guainia, which borders Venezuela and Brazil.


The announcement made last Monday to build the 100,000 free homes within 24 months is in addition to his plan to subsidize the construction programmes for 1 million of the so-called "social homes", Santos said.


To date, the housing ministry has built 246,000 homes in accord with that plan, which Santos called the "push" for the investment of $738.13 million approved in recent days by the finance ministry because it will guarantee the continuation of that programme in the coming years.


The government is now seeking to give priority to housing as a tool in its strategy to reduce the inequality that causes so much "embarrassment" to the president, and that is the reason for the implementation of the plans and the recent change made by Santos at the head of the housing ministry.


Santos last Monday made public the replacement of Beatriz Uribe with German Vargas Lleras, who was the interior minister up until this time, calling him an "official of high quality".


These announcements came days after a survey revealed that the Colombian president's approval rating had fallen to 58 percent and is 15 points below the level he attained three months after assuming power in August 2010.






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