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November 1, 2014
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Venezuela's Maduro unveils new home-buying scheme for renters

The Venezuelan government led by President Nicolás Maduro has decreed that property owners who have rented for over 20 years must offer tenants the chance to buy their homes, in a new plan to tackle a chronic housing shortage in the nation.

The measure, put in place by the Housing Ministry and published today in the government's official bulletins, stipulates that the process must begin in the next 60 days.

If landlords do not offer their properties they will have to pay fines equivalent to around 40,000 dollars for every home, a figure that will double for repeat transgressors.

Roberto Orta, president of the Urban Homeowners Association (APIUR) criticised the initiative, stating that it will "strip [owners] of their property" in spite of the fact that the constitution only allows expropriation and confiscation with appropriate compensation.

"Many of these buildings are occupied by elderly people, who the banks do not consider when granting loans, which means they will not be able to respond to the offer," he told Noticias 24.

The APIUR head also pointed out that the government is yet to set updated values for property to reflect inflation, which last year reached 56.2 percent.

Ex-president Hugo Chávez launched the Great Housing Mission in 2011, a programme which aims to tackle a property deficit which according to official figures affects 3.7 million family heads who are either homeless or live in unauthorised settlements.
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Tags:  venezuela  Maduro  housing  





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