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Argentina’s Lower House debates shantytown urbanisation plan

The bill has wide support in Congress but provincial governments have expressed concern about the costs of the project.

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Resolving chronic poverty in Argentina has long been place among the priorities of national and provincial governments. But little ever seems to change.
Resolving chronic poverty in Argentina has long been place among the priorities of national and provincial governments. But little ever seems to change. Foto:Juan Obregon-Perfil

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Argentina’s Lower House will today debate a bill to urbanise the country’s shantytowns, known otherwise as villas miserias.

The bill was written by the Social Development Ministry with the participation of social and political groups representing the poor.
In Congress, its main proponents are lawmakers Elisa Carrió (CC), Nicolás Massot (PRO) and Mario Negri (UCR).

The bill aims to formally appropriate land where 4,228 shantytowns have been established, with the aim of handing over title deeds to their inhabitants.

Around 3.5 million people live in Argentina’s shantytowns, according to Social Development Ministry estimates.

The bill has wide support in the Lower House. However, provincial governments have already expressed their concern about the costs of the project given the obligations they will face to immediately provide basic services like health, education and security.

The national government says it is willing to negotiate with the provinces on a case by case basis, in line with the vastly different situations of poverty across the country.

-TIMES

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