Venezuela’s housing programme on course for two million new homes

Despite the ongoing economic challenges that it faces, Venezuela ended 2017 just shy of completing 2 million new homes since the launch of its Housing Mission programme six years earlier, writes Tim Young (25/1/18)

The housebuilding programme was instigated by President Hugo Chávez, initially to provide housing for thousands of people who lost their homes in devastating mudslides in late 2010.

The early success of the programme led to an ambitious plan to provide home for 3 million poor people by the end of 2019 – about 9% of the projected population.

A similar programme in the UK would require about 6 million homes to be built over the same period, but at mid-point 2017 only 1,000,750 new homes had been completed across all tenures.

To date in Venezuela, 1,926,448 homes have been built and allocated to needy families, who in return for low-rate monthly payments receive lifetime family deeds to the homes. Unlike council housing in Britain, where Right to Buy has drastically reduced the amount of social housing for rent, the new homes in Venezuela can only be transferred or sold in exceptional circumstances.

Complementing the new-build housing programme is a refurbishment housing programme which in 2017 renovated over 4,000 existing homes. Since the programme started, a total of 569,218 homes have been upgraded. Renovations include new roofs, repainted walls, new bathrooms and door and window improvements.