The 1970 housing census enumerated 1,860,111 housing units. The Allende government expanded the housing program. In 1971, 6.5% of the national budget was expended on public housing, mainly for the poor, and the state built 76,079 new housing units. The military government, on the other hand, stressed the role of the private sector in the housing market. In 1974, the number of new units built by the public sector was 3,297, as against 17,084 units built privately; the corresponding figures for 1984 were 276 and 46,493. Construction was one of the hardest-hit sectors in the recession of 1982, but international loans for highway building and maintenance helped offset the losses in housing.
From 1981 through 1985, the number of new units built was 201,244. The number of new dwellings completed jumped from 88,000 in 1991 to 106,000 in 1992. As of 2001, there were about four million dwellings across the country. The same year, the government had pledged to build at least 25,000 basic homes per year for low-income and poverty stricken residents. The government also set up a subsidy program for those who could not obtain a mortgage. With such assistance, the government estimates that about 100,000 families currently living in squatter villages or slums can be relocated to permanent dwellings by 2005, with an additional 30,000 familes by 2007.