Venezuelan Parliament passed Law on Urban Lands


Caracas, Aug 14 – The plenary session of the Venezuelan Parliament passed unanimously the Special Law on Urban Lands, ordering to forward it to the National Executive so as to enact it and publish it in Gazette.

Such Law aims at regulating the use and possession of urban laws competent for the development of social programs such as housing and habitat, in order to establish the bases of urban development and the progressive satisfaction of the right to a dignified house in urban areas.

While urban property has a social function and will be subject to the contributions, restrictions and obligations stipulated on the law, regulations, plans and complementary norms dictated for such intents and purposes.

Moreover, the above mentioned Law regulates and orders the popular urban settlements that occupy public or private lands in shantytowns and urban developments, in city centers or the outskirts, villages, small towns, hamlets, and in areas of progressive urbanization, in which are constituted their homes, their houses built, to whom own the land but have not had the right to property of the urban land.

The possession of the unproductive land, which in rural areas is explained by means of large estates and in urban areas through the big real-estate monopolies; empty, idle, underused urban plots and lands in the outskirts awaiting to be incorporated to the urban polygonal, are deterrents of a rentier society antagonized to the goals of social inclusion and productivity.

The regulation has a social nature, a strategic character ruled by the principles that guide the human right of housing and habitat, such as progressiveness, social justice, legal security, co-administration, participatory and leading democracy, solidarity, equity, organization, sustainability and tolerance in compliance with the Constitution.

Such Special Law is to be applied to all the urban lands qualified for the development of social housing programs all around the nation, where it is understood as urban lands qualified for the development of social housing programs all those placed in central areas of cities and municipalities.

Such lands will be equipped with public services and among these lands are included those urban lands abandoned by its owners, which are not developed and any other so determined by the National Executive.

The housing problem in Venezuela has had until now a structural nature in virtue of a series of factors that have effects on the town planning development of social nature in the most important cities and municipalities. For instance, there are extensions of lands whose use does not deal at all with the social function that must be given to a property, owed to the existence of big real-estate monopolies that control the buying and selling of lands and plots.

In those high-risk areas, the National Executive is compelled to declare such lands in emergency and, in this case, it must order by means of an administrative action the evacuation of the affected area and the demolition of the buildings raised there aiming at preventing the risk of losing human lives.

Furthermore, the regulation foresees that the owners of the real estates, lands and plots that are in conditions of qualified urban lands are obliged to transfer them in favor of the Republic in compliance the principle of right of preference.

As a guarantee measure of the due process of law stipulated on the Constitution, the regulation embraces a chapter for the procedure to declare the unused urban lands, with regards to a special administrative procedure that foresees the ways to act, its promotion, the personal and public notice, the proofs, the term to take a decision, the decision taken, and it explains as well that it exhausts the administrative possibilities.

Likewise, with regards to the article that deals with the intervention of urban lands, it was passed that “The occupied urban lands that are intervened and which are in ruins, with failures of construction, damaged, uninhabited or declared uninhabitable, shall be transferred to the State by its owner so as to make them fulfill the social function to which are allocated.”

Concerning the lands object to hereditary actions, by means of actions to define a property line, interdiction or in those stipulated on the legal measure, shall not be declared useless until a qualified court dictates the corresponding decision, even if the lands can be temporarily occupied gven the urgencies of the case.

The redrafting of article 20 stipulates: “In order to determine the price of the real estate, there shall be specified its classification, quality, situation, estimated dimensions, possible production and all the remaining conditions that might affect the operations and estimations done to fix its fair value.

With the purpose of determining the value, there shall be taken into account the stipulated in the previous article, the regulations dictated on the matter by the National Executive; in no case shall be taken into account the highest value of the real estates with regards to the nearness to the works in project.”

There will be only excluded from the application of this Law those urban lands in which exist educational, health care or recreational projects duly approved by the corresponding authorities and which have the funds availability to be carried out.

The project presented by the National Executive arranges the right of preference in favor of the Republic so as to purchase the urban lands in compliance with the procedure established in the regulation.

Furthermore, the Special Law on Urban Lands stipulates how to estimate the price of urban lands declared useless by the corresponding body, which is to make an inventory of those lands allegedly without a social use in national territory, where is demanded the collaboration of the states and municipalities by means of the denounces filed by the organized communities.

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