The dream of some 52,000 families who applied, before the start of Gustavo Petro’s government, to the subsidies My House Nowto buy their new home, it could be cut short or at least in limbo and the applicants, who are already qualified and awaiting the transfer of state aid to sign deeds, will have to continue paying rent while it is determined whether they are finally beneficiaries under the new approach proposed by the current administration, which establishes that the postulated households must have the Sisbén IV survey and have a classification between A1 and D20.

(The towns in Bogotá with the largest and most valued homes).

This is clear from the report of observations and responses to the draft decree of the Ministry of Housing, which modifies the conditions of access to the state program and which, according to sources consulted, had already been signed this Thursday by the Ministry of Finance (it had already been done the Ministry of Housing), without contemplating a transition process for those who had already applied and were qualified, did business with a construction company and are waiting for the subsidy.

In the document, The Ministry of Housing declared «not accepted» an observation to the draft decree that requested that the modifications to the program begin to apply from the new applications that will be received in 2023.

“The “Enabled” status does not constitute the reservation of a subsidy, nor does it make the household a beneficiary of the program. This status is the result of a first verification of the household’s requirements, which indicates that it has met various program requirements and can continue with its process to access the subsidy. However, this does not mean that the credit or solidarity economy entity has applied for the subsidy to Fonvivienda, for which the household is not yet a beneficiary of the program, therefore, if the household wishes to continue with its process to be beneficiary of a subsidy must comply with the regulations in force at the time of designation of the subsidy.” points out the official document published on the page of the Ministry of Housing.

And despite the fact that on March 10 the Colombian Chamber of Construction (Camacol) once again submitted to the Ministry of Housing a document with some observations on those responses, which was known by Portafolio, the official entity did not take this key point into account, with the The same National Planning Department (DNP), the National Savings Fund (state entity) and the Banking Association, among others, also coincide.

(Alerts are rising for the housing market in Colombia).

And note that, if the new state law is applied, in which the National Housing Fund (Fonvivienda) prioritizes households prior to verification of financial closure and access to the offer, there would be prioritized households that would not be able to access in the long run to the subsidies, due to lack of financial closure or because the housing of their interest is not on the market, but they would maintain the false expectation of being beneficiaries of the subsidy.

In the accounts of the construction sector, it is estimated that the 52,000 homes with qualified applicants awaiting the signing of deeds imply an investment of $6.3 trillion as the amount of housing units and, of this value, $4.4 trillion is leverage of entrepreneurs through builder credit.

In addition, the builders who undertook the construction of these houses and financed their execution with these credits will be forced to pay monthly interest of the order of $78,000 million, a cost overrun that makes any project unfeasible in five months.

And also, the 52,000 households that are left in suspense or in limbo due to the non-existence of the transition scheme, will have to continue paying rent, since they will not be able to inhabit the homes for which they have saved, figure estimated at $20.400 million per month.

In other words, the cost for the country and households of not delivering these homes increases to $98.4 billion a month, that is, almost $1.2 trillion pesos a year.

Omar G. Ahumada Rojas
Portfolio Editor