Venezuelans are celebrating an announcement by President Nicolas Maduro stating that the minimum wage would be raised for the second time this year. The minimum wage and retirees’ pensions will both be increasing by 30%. Two-thirds of the increase will occur this month, with the last increase going into effect on July 1. Government officials and military personnel will see an increase in their salaries, as well.
Of course, Maduro isn’t the only Venezuelan official attempting to make the country better for its citizens. Planning Minister Ricardo Menendez hopes to have 40% of the nation’s population living in government-provided housing by 2019. The Venezuelan government has created a committee to examine the possibility of creating socialist-style cities for long-term housing. In addition to providing free or low-cost housing to needy families, socialist city planning would minimize traffic congestion and maximize access to amenities such as public parks.
The Great Housing Mission (GMV) was initiated in 2010 to offer relief to people affected by severe flooding. In 2011, the program was expanded to create housing for all Venezuelans. Since then, over 642,000 homes have been distributed to the poor, with low costs determined by the recipients’ financial means.
The housing is planned to provide a minimum of 12 square meters per person, though the materials used to build the homes have not been revealed. Hardwood flooring may be one option, with its many available varieties. For a softer floor, Pine and Fir may be used, due to their relatively low hardness ratings, between 600 and 900. Red Walnut and Brazilian Teak, while more expensive, have hardness ratings of 2500 to 3500.
While many Venezuelans are appreciative of the housing mission and President’s decision to raise the minimum wage, worldwide economists predict that these will contribute to the continued economic inflation in the country.