The government has changed the focus of housing programs. Now, the sector’s portfolio seeks to avoid strains and give relief to the people who need it most, as is the case with the program My House Now
(How to access the housing subsidy from family compensation funds).
Likewise, according to the Minister of Housing, City and Territory, Catalina Velasco, other fronts will be addressed, and other subsidies will also be created, such as Cambia Mi Casa, which hopes to reach 400,000 homes in four years to address the qualitative deficit. Financial relief to other less vulnerable sectors are evaluated.
Why make changes to the Mi Casa Ya program?
We have defined the same cut-off points, those who reported up to two minimum wages and four wages, the same. Now what we are doing is using a different measuring instrument, it is like having an inch and centimeter ruler, they are the tools to measure the same thing.
We believe that it is much more efficient, that it has fewer errors and crashes, and we are going to maintain it.
What other changes will there be, such as to the rate?
We are going to maintain the protection of subsidies of both 20 and 30 minimum wages, the coverage of 4 and 5 points, exactly the same as we have been doing.
(These are the changes that the Mi Casa Ya subsidy program will have).
We will make a change and it is to analyze in the municipality that they buy the house, if it is rural or urban, if it is Social Interest Housing (VIS), if it is Priority Interest Housing (VIP) or if it has a differential approach or if they are victims. There are six criteria, that gives the family a score and the subsidies will be assigned monthly by groups and will be given to those who will have the highest score on this list.
Will subsidies be maintained for other segments that are not VIS?
In other programs we are making assessments. For now, we are exposing the adjustments and making improvements to the Mi Casa Ya program, we believe it is very important, we will invest $1.5 billion for 50,000 subsidies this year, it is a confidence boost for the construction sector.
The National Development Plan mentions 116,394 subsidies for 4 years, which is a little less than 30,000 each year.
There are several programs, we are having conversations with the National Development Plan and this resulted from the annual budgets.
Would not this decrease occur in check the VIS housing development?
We hope there will be confidence in the sector, we are sure that it will be so, the investments will be important, there are $1.5 trillion that will be invested this year and we will maintain collaborative work with the construction sector.
The PND also talks about 400,000 subsidies for home improvement, how will they be delivered?
We are working on this housing improvement program that is Cambia Mi Casa, which is very important, as well as Mi Casa Ya.
The idea is to make 100,000 home improvements per year for four years.
We hope that with the budget improvement we will have the availability of resources, we already have a good part.
What does this subsidy offer?
We are structuring it. We believe it is necessary to attack the qualitative housing deficit, there are about 4 million precarious homes and we must work on bathrooms, kitchens, floors, roofs and in some cases structural issues, where families are experiencing difficult situations, even without connections to public services such as aqueduct and sewage.
(Home sales in the country plummeted 50% during January).
We are looking at management methods, how to move forward, for example, with family compensation funds, with territorial entities, with foundations, and they can help us with that, but we especially like to work with popular housing organizations or community associations.
We are looking at how to direct resources, carry out technical and financial monitoring and meet the enormous challenge of multiplying the investment we made annually by almost 25. The last government handed out 4,500 subsidies a year.
On the current market in January there was a 50% drop in home sales, what can you say about it?
The construction sector is stationary, the month of January is always a month of falls, this is because after the holidays people have other expenses, this is normal in the seasonality of the industry.
However, there are macroeconomic variables that progress the sector that does not depend on the national economy, nor on the Government, such as interest rates, exchange or inflationary effects.
What measures are taken from the Government to counteract the effect?
First, the deindexation, this is important because the cost of inputs hits the sector, that is why we are doing it from all the ministries.
And second, we inject resources, in the case of Mi Casa Ya with $1.5 billion.
We have spoken with the construction sector, they are happy with these advances, we believe that we can continue to lead in terms of employment and economics, however, the social impact is enormous.
PAULA GALEANO BALAGUERA