Although the subsidy from Mi Casa Ya for more than 10 years has helped to fulfill the dream of thousands of Colombians to own home, now it seems to truncate some of these goals.

(See: Inflation: how investing in housing would work as a safe haven asset).

The changes in the rules of the game that the Government has proposed through decree 490 of April 4, 2023, Not only would they harm more than 50,000 Colombians who are waiting for this relief to have financial closure, but in the future it could discourage the purchase of Social Interest Housing (VIS) which today represents 70% of sales in the country.

Among the new requirements, applicants who wish to buy this type of property in a city must have a classification IV in Sisbén and being in groups A1 and C7 and in the case of the rural sector between groups A1 and C14 to obtain up to 30 current legal minimum wages (smmlv). Other categories will be assigned 20 salaries to the groups C8 and D11 in urban areas and C15 and D20 in rural areas.

These modifications would mean an additional procedure that households would have to undertake to be beneficiaries of this subsidy.

(See: Plummeting Home Sales: The Factors Making the Fall Worse.)

This situation would result in a greater expense of time, which some households do not have since the date of deed of their homes works against them. according to the Colombian Chamber of Construction (Camacol), this would impact about 52,000 Colombians who are waiting.

According to sources in the sector, this ‘sisbenization’ and transition period for households that have already bought their home, will accommodate at least half of those affected this year, which will hinder the operational and financial closure and the expected times.

If a household, which meets all the conditions for access to the subsidy, including financial closure, must undergo a qualification process to find out if it will be a beneficiary, this implies that both home sellers and credit institutions will have to review the household as if the subsidy did not exist, because there would be no way of knowing if he will be a beneficiary, even if he meets all the conditions for that effect”, Camacol said at the time in a communication to the Ministry of Housing, as reported by Portafolio.

(See: Rents and transportation will keep inflation high.)

According to the union, in this way, the program would not facilitate household access to credit or leasing, but would be a «random prize.» for households that, without the subsidy, had already proven financial closure.

In this way, the confidence of all the actors in the sector would be compromised and this would affect the generation of greater uncertainty, since without a guarantee that the households ready to notarize will receive this money, builders may also be hurt by the increase in withdrawals.

This domino effect would also fall on investors and credit institutions that would take this as a challenge when evaluating the possibility of financing these projects, which will harm future initiatives.

(See: Is it true that a free month of rent should be granted?).

The classification problem

The people who meet the requirements, in some cases could not comply with the financial closure in the bank for the long term, perhaps the Government has not reviewed it or is not aware, but part of that problem is that those who are in those categories cannot access mortgage credit”, highlights Luis Aurelio Díaz, president of the Oikos construction company.

In this way, people who can access to the subsidy must have more state guarantees, so that the banks, according to Díaz, assume the challenge of financing these homes.

In addition, in this type of households (Sisbén IV and those who have less than 2 Smmlv) they will have to find a way to pay the surplus of the house. It is worth remembering that by 2023, the price of a VIS home is $174 million, a value that is adjusted to the date of deed of the property.

This situation would affect the number of units that would be sold per year, which in turn would impact the entire construction supply chain (not only of raw materials, but of finished products), for which the president of Oikos estimates a drop of up to 40% in demand.

In addition, with this new model, the construction company anticipates a reduction between 40% and 50% of future sales.

(See: Keep in mind: the changes that the Mi Casa Ya program will have).

What will happen to the more than 52,000 families?

In order to «respond» to these families, the Government announced that in the year 2023, these homes will have a «transition period», where with a date of no more than six months from the deed may meet the requirement of the Sisbén classification.

However, if you do not meet the requirement, you must pay the missing value of the property with own resources.

(See: Step by step to access the Mi Casa now housing subsidy).

All the entities agree that a transition regime is required to adapt to the new requirements and avoid a social disaster in which the most affected would be the households that spent years saving, managed to buy a VIS, obtained credit approval, and now I only receive as a response that the authorization is not equal to the forecast of the subsidyCamacol says.

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