Hugo Chavez emergency housing construction

Venezuela - Hugo Chavez Accelerates emergency public housing construction

Venezuela - Hugo Chavez Accelerates emergency public housing construction

Over the weekend, the Venezuelan government approved new funds and announced the nationalization of two companies that produce construction materials in order to accelerate a surge of public housing projects for people displaced by recent floods.

The National Assembly voted to allocate 1.18 billion bolivars (US$ 274 million) towards a special housing plan to build 9,387 homes for flood victims in Caracas. It approved an additional 63.9 million bolivars (US$ 14.8 million) for the Commerce Ministry to buy basic items for the thousands of families currently living in shelters as a result of the floods.

Meanwhile, President Hugo Chavez has been on a flurry of visits to emergency housing construction sites and shelters to assure flood victims that the government will fulfill its promise to build them new homes.

During his presidential talk show on Sunday, the president announced the “forced acquisition” of Sanitarios Maracay, a toilet manufacturer, and Venezuelan Aluminum (ALVEN). Both companies produce supplies for home construction and are deemed to be strategic sectors of the economy in the context of the current surge in public housing construction.

Minister Molina said the government, in accordance with Article 299 of the constitution – which establishes the need for joint public-private sector economic projects – has been in contact with private construction contractors who are willing to participate in the government’s public housing plans.

President Chavez, who was recently granted the authority to legislate by decree, is expected to nationalize a swath of rural and urban landholdings that are idle or unused in order to build more public housing. In accordance with Article 115 of the Venezuelan constitution, the government is to compensate private owners for these forced acquisitions.

Many of the idle urban plots have already been occupied for several months by local “urban land committees” which are linked to communal councils and have the legal right to occupy private lands and gain title to them for the purpose of building homes, according to a law that was passed earlier this year.

Keywords - moladi, Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, emergency, public housing, housing construction, floods, special housing plan, flood victims, Caracas, housing construction sites, shelters, Sanitarios Maracay, ALVEN, supplies, strategic sectors, Minister Molina, urban plots, nationalize

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