Will More Housing Be Good or Bad for Venezuela?

How under constructionAlthough America’s housing market has bounced back, with an estimated 618,000 new homes under construction by the end of 2015, it would seem that Venezuela’s real estate is still facing massive problems even after its own surge in housing starts.

According to Prensa Latina, a number of movements have manifested in several parts of Venezuela to protest the the legal proposal being brought to the National Assembly, trying to take advantage of the Great Venezuela Housing Mission (GMVV).

The GMVV housing program of the Bolivarian Revolution involved the national government building one million houses for the country’s citizens.

The leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, the infamous Hugo Chavez, created this housing program nearly five years ago to meet the overwhelming demand for homes.

By 2016, the program aimed to build 500,000 more homes, with the added goal of creating a total of three million by 2019.

Now, the right-wing party Primero Justicia is attempting to manipulate the concept of ownership by commercializing the more than one million houses to serve their own agenda.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in the center of the capital city to protest.

However, as the The New York Times reports, before his death in 2013, Chavez never handed over the property titles that would allow homeowners to sell their houses.

It would seem that Chavez’s old adversaries in parliament, who are fighting against the GMVV, are also planning to do what he never could — by handing out the deeds to hundreds of thousands of homes that were built.

This is suspected as a move to gain the loyalty of the public, ironically similar to the opposition’s claims that Chavez improperly used the spoils of Venezuela’s oil wealth to do the same by providing this housing.

“The opposition is trying to imitate the popular aspects of Chavismo,” Francisco Rodriguez, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said in reference to Chavez’s political movement.

Venezuela’s government is currently in a mad rush to gain popularity due to the disastrous state of the country’s economy.

The International Monetary Fund is expecting inflation of 720% per year, there are rampant food shortages, and the price of oil — Venezuela’s lifeblood — has crashed.

Chavez’s successor, President Nicolas Maduro, vowed in a State of the Union Address to block his opponent’s plan.

“You will have to topple me first to approve a privatization law,” Maduro said, which garnered him applause from the leftists.