Venezuela's housing crisis


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New government-made housing project is seen from the top of Las Mayas slum with a view of the city of Caracas in the background May 26, 2011. Despite being in power for 12 years and bringing plenty of new schools and clinics to poor areas, Chavez has failed to fix Venezuela's housing shortfall -- currently at 2 million units. That, say critics, demonstrates the failure of socialism in Venezuela, where the 500,000 new homes built during Chavez's rule, about two-thirds by the private sector, is no better than the rate of construction under his predecessors. Not surprisingly, Chavez has sought to take the initiative with a new ''Grand Housing Mission'' -- his eighth such construction plan -- aiming to build 2 million new units by 2017 with funds available from higher global oil prices. REUTERS/Jorge Silva