World Briefs

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CARACAS — One-third of Venezuela’s population has signed up for housing subsidies under a plan launched this year by President Hugo Chavez, the state news agency AVN said.

Mr. Chavez, a leftist who plans to run for a third term next year despite a bout with cancer, has promised to build 2 million state-funded housing units in six years to eliminate a shortage.

Ricardo Mendez, the minister of science, technology and intermediate industries, told AVN that nearly 3.7 million families had signed up for the program since May, when it was launched.

That represents 10.8 million people, or more than a third of the country’s 28.8 million people, he said.

Of those, three-quarters want a home of their own, 17 percent want money for repairs, and 8.2 percent want an addition to an existing home.

The government plans to build 153,000 units of public housing this year.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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