CONCEPCIÓN – Over hundred families must return the houses they received from the government after the devastating earthquake on February 27, 2010. All these families are not living in the houses but are renting them out. Other government houses in the southern regions are still being investigated.
After an 8.8 earthquake shook Chile on the night of February 27, 2010, about 9% of Chileans living in regions close to the epicenter lost their houses. Especially the Maule and Bíobío regions were heavily affected and, in the year-long process of reconstruction, the Chilean government gave houses to local families that lost theirs.
In the two regions, 128,000 houses were built and given to families. The houses were meant for the families to live in, but after inspections the government found that over 100 families are not staying in these houses. They are renting them out or are using them for other purposes.
All these families must now return these houses, for misuse of public funds. While 14 families have already returned theirs, 89 are in the process of doing so.
Most social housing in Chile cannot be rented or sold within five years of delivery. In most of the current cases, families commercialized the houses within two years.
See this report on the 2010 earthquake.
Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today. He worked in Colombia, Surinam and the Netherlands as reporter and works with international media during major events, like the social crisis, the elections and the Pope’s visit.