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Uruguay to improve living conditions in squatter settlements with support from IDB

Third program in a line of credit for investment projects will promote urban integration and the restoration of abandoned buildings in the old quarter of Montevideo

The Inter-American Development Bank has approved a $70 million credit for Uruguay that will finance a multi-pronged program to improve living conditions for people residing in squatter camps and rundown urban areas.

It is the third operation in a line of credit earmarked for investment projects aimed at improving life in Uruguay’s residential districts. The specific goals of the plan are to drive urban integration by providing basic infrastructure and adequate social and city services by guaranteeing secure ownership of property and improving social capital. Another goal is to supply affordable housing to low-income people while restoring run-down buildings in the old quarter of Montevideo.

The measures to be taken include physical construction so as to strengthen the human and social capital of the community and its related organizations, fill gaps in basic infrastructure and equipment and regularize the property deeds of people living there. These construction projects will benefit an estimated 7,642 households in 36 settlements in Uruguay.

A pilot project will also be executed so as to recover and upgrade derelict or unused state-owned buildings or lots in the center of Montevideo. The goal is to supply social service programs dedicated to affordable housing with a greater supply of homes in places with access to quality services.

This pilot plan will curb the abandonment of downtown areas of Montevideo, limit the emergence of informal activities and levels of urban segregation, and bring life to the city center.

At the same time, the plan calls for technical assistance to boost regional management in processes to regularize settlements and in the preparation of the projects that will be financed by this program. It also foresees training for regional government bodies, multi-disciplinary technical teams and members of the program’s coordinating unit.

The IDB credit is over 25 years with a grace period of five-and-a-half years and an interest rate pegged to the Libor. There is also a local contribution of $30 million.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region. For more information, visit www.iadb.org.