Quake-hit Pisco to get priority in government housing program

Peru’s Cabinet Chief Salomon Lerner Ghitis said Thursday that the southern city of Pisco, which was widely damaged by a massive 2007 earthquake, will receive preference in government housing programs.

“The lower income population affected in this city and the others affected by the quake in 2007 will have preference in the state housing programs,” Lerner Ghitis said during his address to Congress, according to state news agency Andina.

Lerner Ghitis said that the housing program Nuestras Ciudades, or Our Cities, will include the participation of the three levels of government in Peru, civil society and private sector.

“The city of Pisco will be the first to be take part in this program,” he said.

The magnitude-8.0 earthquake in southern Peru in 2007, which lasted more than two minutes, rocked Pisco and surrounding cities, destroying numerous buildings and killing hundreds of people.

One of President Ollanta Humala’s first tasks since taking office on July 28 was to send the military to Pisco to help with reconstruction, which was inefficient and plagued with corruption during President Alan Garcia’s administration.

Humala’s government is looking to reduce the housing deficit in Peru by working with the private sector on construction projects and improvement of current housing, mainly for lower income families in both urban centers and rural areas.

In addition, Lerner Ghitis said the government aims to hand over 300,000 property titles, and improve some 100 marginalized urban centers.

“We are committed to providing economic help with transparency and with focus,” the head of Peru’s cabinet said.

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