The Venezuelan government's housing mission has constructed nearly 100,000 new homes since the start of the year, according to figures released Tuesday.
The mission has now constructed a total of 752,585 housing units, Housing Minister Manuel Quevedo said. In January the ministry put the number of completed housing units at just under 676,000, suggesting the government is building an average of more than 200 units each day.
“At this rate, 1 million people will be provided with homes by the end of 2015,” Quevedo said.
One of the Venezuelan government's most popular social initiatives, the housing mission was first launched to provide shelter for people who lost their homes in devastating floods that hit the country in 2010. However, since then, the mission has expanded to provide low-cost housing to the wider population, with poor families receiving priority. Units are generally provided fully furnished. The houses are offered either for free or at a low cost, depending on the means of the prospective owners.
In 2011, then-President Hugo Chavez explained that the mission would address the “social debt” left behind by former governments that failed to provide quality housing to all Venezuelans.
The current administration of President Nicolas Maduro has vowed to continue expanding the mission, aiming to provide low-cost housing to 40 percent of Venezuelans by the end of the decade.