Cabo Verde: Social housing built by China opens in São Vicente

The prime minister of Cabo Verde, Ulisses Correia e Silva, inaugurates on Wednesday in São Vicente a €9 million social housing project developed in partnership with China.

In a statement, the government of Cabo Verde said that the Portelinha social housing project involved the construction of 88 social houses, resulting from a technical and economic agreement signed with the China International Cooperation Agency.

The agreement for this work was signed in 2016, during a visit by the Cabo Verdean prime minister to China, as part of bilateral cooperation between the two countries, and construction began in 2019.

The project is for two-bedroom flats, spread over 11 blocks of four floors, with two flats per floor, as part of the “objectives of the executive to eliminate extreme poverty and reduce absolute poverty” in Cabo Verde.

Lusa reported this month that over 40,000 Cabo Verdean families, or 25% of the total, live in houses with no conditions, according to an estimate from the National Housing Plan (PLANAH), which outlines the need to invest €1.5 billion by 2030.

The document, published on 7 January by the government, was developed with the support of UN-Habitat and concluded that “over 40,000 households” in Cabo Verde live “in qualitatively deficient residential accommodation, presenting some physical pathology and lacking the installation of some essential service.

“At a quantitative level, the housing deficit is estimated at around 8.7%, meaning a total of approximately 13,800 households living in improvised or rustic dwellings, or that are still in the condition of excessive spending, overcrowding or family cohabitation,” reads the document, to which Lusa had access today.

It recognises that the housing deficit in Cabo Verde “is concentrated and urban in nature,” with Santiago island and Praia municipality, the country’s capital, “accounting, respectively, for almost 40% and 30% of the entire housing shortage, whether qualitative or quantitative,” followed by Sao Vicente island, the second most populated region in the country.