Anif’s economic studies center analyzed the possible consequences of the changes surrounding the country’s main housing subsidy program Mi Casa Ya. In particular, he expressed concern for the budget for the program, the modifications presented in the National Development Plan and comments to program parametric modifications that «doubt its effectiveness and its future in the short term».

Read: Ministry of Housing give 100,000 subsidies per year from Change My House

Budget, returns to 2018 policy

About the budget, Anif hoped that hehe resources allocated to Mi Casa Ya are insufficient and also returns the housing policy to 2018.

«The program has proven to be an efficient instrument to help purchase housing. In the last two years it has been able to grant between 60 and 70 thousand annual subsidies focused on households between 0 and 2 minimum wages. It is a program that It has removed the discretionary factor from housing policy and has democratized government assistance in housing»says the report.

For this reason, considering the low budget allocated for the current term to be worrisome. The investment in 2022 in subsidies from Mi Casa Ya, according to Anif, it was around $2.5 billion pesos for around 60,000 subsidies (more than 44,000 delivered in 2022).

Read: These are the changes that the Mi Casa Ya subsidy program will have

«Considering the effects of the budget reduction and the increase in the minimum wage, the volume of guaranteed subsidies for this year would be between 10,000 and 15,000, which would be a strong blow to the building sector, which has been facing a sharp drop in sales.»remark.

It is worth remembering that in conversation with this medium, the Minister of Housing, Catalina Velasco, placed $1.5 billion is the ceiling to allocate about 50,000 Mi Casa Ya subsidies. However, in the National Development Plan the goal of dispensing with this Government is a little more than 116,000 subsidies for the four-year period, that is, about 29,000 per year.

«This budget would be limiting access or low-income households to their own housing, contrary to the objectives of the new government in terms of
of housing. If the budget improvement does not correct this element to expand quotas, one of the most effective social policy programs in the history of Colombia would be eliminated.»
Anif dice

National Development Plan and deindexation

Likewise, they point out that in the National Development Plan, in the regionalization chapter, The legal limits with which the program has been working since the issuance of the last Housing and Habitat Law are modified.

It is worth clarifying that, previously, a maximum limit of 150 legal minimum wages was established in the main ones in the country for housing construction and in the rest of the cities of around 135 wages for this issuance, in order to recognize the scarcity of land enabled in the city and the need to increase the offer in these cities.

Read: Home sales in the country plummeted 50% during January

Now, «In the articles of the national development plan, the minimum wage was modified as a determining factor of the ceilings for social interest housing in favor of the UVT. In this sense, the new ceiling is 3,552 UVT, which in 2023 represents a value of $150,647,424. This in the case of large cities would represent a percentage increase of 0.4% compared to 2022. This compared to inflation of 13.25% or the PPI, resulting in unjustified and there is a real risk of reducing the supply of VIS in the cities«, they say.

This becomes a concern for the sector, since the builders have stated that This increase is the most optimal way to level the balance of costs that has suffered several increases, even double figures in the cost basket. «This article in particular can be detrimental to the sector and to the housing supply in the country. Again, if the objective is to increase access, the cap change measure is not seen as a solution to these problems»recognize.

Change from ‘minimum wages’ to ‘Sisbén score’

Lastly, they state that the change in the ‘rules of the game’, that is, that the program not be measured by minimum wages but by the Sisbén score, Although it seeks to focus and reach more rural sectors, households that are not in the Sisbén bases will not be able to participate, «which limits the demand for the program by a new barrier to access.»

Read: This Monday the disbursements of the Mi Casa Ya program begin

Although the targeting mechanism can be understood, Anif and experts consider that it generates large risk elements for the execution of the program where prioritized households, since they are those who probably have the least favorable conditions to access a home loan. «It remains to be established whether this will generate bottlenecks in the system in the face of a current scenario of rapidity in the resolutions to request subsidies.»

Furthermore, according to the Center for Economic Studies, targeting by category of municipality leaves large cities with strong limitations access to housing. «Because of the scoring system presented by the ministry, category 1 and 2 municipalities would be the most affected in favor of category 5 and 6 municipalities. In the process of expanding the program to more cities, there should be a study that supports the demand in this type of municipality since this criterion generates access barriers for low-income families that still require housing,» conclude

Portfolio Journalist