Maria Teresa Ronderos continues the debate about President Santos’s proposal of 100,000 free houses during his mandate. She states that the policy was launched just after the revelation of a drop in Santos’s popularity, in order to win over hearts–especially the hearts and dreams of the poor people that don’t have houses.
According to Ronderos, this was a populist movement of Santos, with the support of his Minister of Finance, who highlighted that it is only necessary to allocate 4 billion pesos of the national budget to the project. An amount of money that is more than double that of the income the country generated in 2011 in mining royalties.
Santos’s initial plan was to build 526,000 affordable houses, and so far under his government just 17,000 people have built houses with official subsides. The question then, is will the 100,000 houses be free instead of the half a million houses with only part subsidies?
What is certain, according to Ronderos, is that the recipe of “free houses and charming Minister” will give points in the surveys. The problem will be the administration of these houses in a few years, taking into account the difficulty of local policies. Who is going to ensure that the local politicians are going to build the houses?.
She finishes by stating that it is very different to promise a thousand homes, than to fulfill that promise. (link to the article)