MEXICO CITY – House construction promoted by the Mexican government will create 2˝ million temporary jobs this year, President Felipe Calderon said at the signing of the National Housing Pact.
The chief executive said that, despite the world economic downturn, the pace of housing construction would be maintained to insure “income for millions of families.”
A total of 800,000 houses will be built or remodeled this year. The budget allocated for financing the purchase of public housing will reach 180 billion pesos ($12 billion) through different organizations.
“The world situation will not be an obstacle,” Calderon said Friday about Mexican families’ wish to become homeowners.
Special attention will also be paid to those with little money. Housing loans will be available for amounts less than 300,000 pesos (some $20,000).
Calderon said that finance brokers from the private sector have committed themselves to guaranteeing funds for at least 150,000 housing loans worth a total of some 80 billion pesos (some $5 billion).
Companies in the construction sector like the CEMEX cement company vowed to keep prices competitive and offer discounts, the president said.
The president called for an activation of the internal market and promotion of public-sector demand as a way of dealing with the economic crisis.
Government action forms part of the National Agreement on Family Economy and Employment, a stimulus plan worth billions that was forged with business and union associations and includes a freeze on gasoline and natural gas prices in 2009, housing aid, unemployment insurance and more construction.
Mexicans will be hit hardest in the first half of this year by the recession announced by Banco de Mexico, which forecast a drop in gross domestic product, or GDP, of between 0.8 percent and 1.9 percent, according to financial analysts.
The central bank predicts a big drop in employment this year with the elimination of some 340,000 jobs.