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Cablegate: National Housing Plan to Shelter 14,000 Families

VZCZCXRO2731
PP RUEHLMC
DE RUEHLP #1009 1021203
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 121203Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3147
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6692
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 4017
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7906
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 5156
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 2386
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 2508
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 3411
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 4534
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 5025
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 9612
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0254
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS LA PAZ 001009

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/AND
TREASURY FOR SGOOCH
MCC FOR AKIRSCHENBAUM

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON PGOV BL
SUBJECT: NATIONAL HOUSING PLAN TO SHELTER 14,000 FAMILIES

1. The GOB announced its national housing plan on April 3,
designed to decrease the current Bolivian deficit of around
300,000 homes. The plan seeks to provide housing to 14,000
families by providing subsidies of up to USD 1,400 to poor
families in rural areas and loans ranging from USD 2,500 to
USD 15,000 to poor and middle class families in urban areas.
The loans will have twenty-year terms with zero to three
percent interest rates, compared with seven to ten percent
commercial mortgage rates. The loans will be channeled
through 13 financial cooperatives and NGOs, including Habitat
for Humanity, but will be approved by the vice ministry of
housing. The program also will provide subsidies of up to
USD 500 for home improvements designed to eliminate
disease-carrying pests and loans of up to USD 1,500 for
creating productive spaces or home expansion. The government
estimates that the housing program will generate 70,000 jobs
in the construction sector during the coming year.

2. Comment: The program will hopefully reach some of the
poorest Bolivians and will likely boost the GOB's popularity,
but unfortunately is also likely to be subject to abuse and
corruption, difficult to implement, and probably will not
confer legal titles upon program participants, if prior GOB
housing programs serve as any indication. Most importantly
for the GOB, the plan promises to be an important source of
patronage in the run-up to elections expected to be held in
2008. End comment.
GOLDBERG

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