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With 29 million people, Venezuela is short 2 million housing units. It's an issue that could shape next year's election.

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Leyerly, 3, stands at the door of her shack in Las Mayas. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has promised a "Grand Housing Mission" - his eighth such construction plan - aiming to build 2 million new units by 2017 with funds available from higher global oil prices.

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The slum of Las Mayas in Caracas on May 26, 2011. The housing shortfall in Venezuela currently sits at 2 million units.

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Maria Colmenares does her laundry outside her shack in Las Mayas.

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A woman feeds her child as she waits for transportation in Las Mayas.

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People walk over an area affected by a mudslide, which wiped out the entrance to the slum.

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Clara, a neighbor of the slum of Las Mayas, attends a meeting of the local community council to discuss housing.

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New government-made housing project is seen from the top of Las Mayas slum with a view of the city of Caracas in the background. Critics point out that the 500,000 new homes built during Hugo Chavez's rule, about two-thirds by the private sector, is no better than the rate of construction under his predecessors.

JORGE SILVA/REUTERS/JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

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Maria Orizco waits for clients at her store in Las Mayas. Despite being in power for 12 years and bringing plenty of new schools and clinics to poor areas, President Hugo Chavez has failed to fix Venezuela's housing shortfall.

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New government-made housing project in Las Mayas.

JORGE SILVA/REUTERS/JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

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