Venezuela’s ambitious public housing program, “Grand Mission Housing Venezuela” is entering its second phase set to prioritize housing needs and verify those registered.
This Monday, the second stage of Venezuela’s housing mission got underway in five of Venezuela’s states. With the initial phase now complete, 2000 teams of brigadiers will visit the families that registered during the first part of the mission in order to assess citizen’s living conditions and inform residents of how to participate in “Living-Venezuelan Assemblies”.
Each team will be made up of 4 brigadiers; one registration brigadier to operate GPS technical equipment, one activist from the Francisco de Miranda Front, one member of the Bolivarian National Militia and one social movement spokesperson.
“That means that 8000 brigadiers will visit the homes of 1,250,000 registered families”, informed Ricardo Menendez, Minister of Science, Technology and Intermediate Industries.
The registration volunteer will enter the head of the family’s ID number and the number of family members and their occupation onto the GPS system - as well as upload a photo and description of living conditions at the house. Satellite technology will also allow the GPS to register the geographical location of the residence.
Brigadiers have an incredibly important role to play since their “work will be to propel communal organization”, informed Minister of Housing and Habitat Ricardo Molina.
“It is the people that will advance the process, but with the technical and socio-political assistance of the revolutionary government”, he added.
Brigadiers will work every day from 8 am to 4 pm, including weekends. This will give them the opportunity to carry out visits to residents who are not available during the working week.
Marlenis Gonzalez, a brigadier who participated in the first phase of the mission, specified that “it is a tough job. But we trust the mission, and this registration and verification process is important so that we know who is really in need of a house”.
Community councils and brigadiers organized as “construction communes” will also take charge of building work. Earlier this month, thousands of brigadiers received official state certificates allowing them to receive appropriate safety clothing and equipment in order to begin construction.
It is expected to take approximately two months for the brigadiers to visit all the families residing in the 277 wards of the Capital District, Falcon, Miranda, Vargas and Zulia. Provided that the area in which they live is safe and not susceptible to landslides, Molina confirmed that families would also be offered the option of receiving state funding to renovate their existing family homes. Renovations include works such as refurbishing kitchens and bathrooms and the construction of new rooms and floors.
Oswaldo Calandra who lives in Las Tunitas, Catia del Mar, said he had not been able to refurbish his family home due to his economic situation.
“If I renovate, I don’t eat”, he said.
“LIVING-VENEZUELAN” ASSEMBLIES AND POPULAR POWER
The second phase of the housing mission involves the important step of creating “Living-Venezuelan” Assemblies. These community-based assemblies will be responsible for finding suitable land for construction and creating projects to address the housing problem in response to the needs of that particular neighbourhood.
“Once they have been identified as members of a particular neighborhood, people can then begin to organize themselves as communities in order to start collectively investigating a decisive solution to the housing problem”, stated Molina.
Working under the coordination of the Housing Ministry, the Ministry of Communes and Social Protection, as well as the Ministry of Science, Technology and Intermediate Industries, these assemblies will begin to organize immediately.
This Saturday, public ‘Informative Assemblies” were held throughout Venezuela to explain the second phase of the housing mission to the public. Speaking from the first Informative Assembly in Sucre, Petare, Vice-President Elias Jaua reiterated the importance of popular power in the housing project and emphasized the community’s role in prioritizing families to receive houses.
“These priorities can only be established through the consciousness of every person registered in the mission”, declared Jaua.
“The principal objective is life. To satisfy the basic requisites for life. A full life means to create the material conditions that allow oneself to develop as a human being”, he added.