Learn about the benefits of the Housing and Habitat Law sanctioned by President Iván Duque

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Llano Verde Urbanization. Courtesy: Mayor of Cali.

While he was in Valledupar, Cesar, President Iván Duque, together with the Minister of Housing, Jonathan Malagón, approved the new Housing and Habitat Law, which It will allow Colombians to access housing subsidies more effectively, regulates the Rural Housing Policy and improves the territorial planning capacity of municipalities.

According to the president, during 2020, despite the impact on employment growth, the economy and the social level, home sales exceeded the historical figure. The motivator for this increase, he explained, It was the sale of low-income housing. This also improved poverty rates, since the vulnerable population had the opportunity to access this right.

Three of the most important aspects of this new law, said President Iván Duque, are the possibility of preparing the ground quickly for housing projects in the municipalities; the consideration of world trends in housing finance that will allow, through market rules, develop time limits for long-term credits; and specialized credit tools that will improve capital markets and enable develop a comprehensive housing finance system.

For his part, the Minister of Housing, Jonathan Malagón, stressed that, in the department, 900 subsidies were delivered during 2020, 400 more than in previous years. He also pointed out that the Nando Marín urbanization park was handed over and road expansion works began, among other infrastructure projects. Regarding the benefits of the new statute, he pointed out that the population will have access to VIS and non-VIS subsidies, housing improvement and facilities to acquire rural housing. Furthermore, according to Minister Malagón, the new law, which modernizes the sector, seeks promote differential benefits for women who have been victims of domestic violence, seeking their financial independence, security and material and emotional well-being.

Likewise, when it is proven that a woman was a victim of domestic violence by his partner or permanent partner, within the households benefited by the free housing program, the perpetrator will be excluded from the program. Also, the law makes the maximum ceiling for financing housing loans more flexible, which today is 30 years old and eliminates the time restriction to sell a home that has been acquired with the ‘Mi Casa Ya’ subsidy.

In the case of free homes, families will be able to use this asset after five years of use, and not 10 years as previously established. In addition, households that received an improvement grant also will be able to access the subsidy for the purchase of a new home.

The Housing Law will provide attention to the housing deficit in a differential manner, said the minister. Thus, the rural population will be cared for according to their gender, ethnicity, age and disability status and victims of the armed conflict or in the process of reincorporation. With this strategy it is expected to reduce the inequality gap and guarantee the overcoming of social exclusion.

Furthermore, this policy recognizes the heterogeneity of the national territory and, therefore, the value of the subsidies for new housing, construction on own site, structural reinforcement and improvement of social and priority rural housing, will have a differential component related to the transport of materials to dispersed rural areas, taking into account the distance and conditions of the access roads.

Ben Oakley
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