Inside the garage of a Caracas shopping center, hundreds of families live in cubicle-like rooms, waiting for President Hugo Chavez to deliver on his promise to give every Venezuelan "dignified" housing.
"We often despair, but we must wait," said Eusebio Medina, 49, who was selling candy outside the garage, which was seized by the government to house people left homeless by landslides and floods in 2010.
Despite his long wait for a new home, Medina knew whom he would vote for in the country's presidential election on Sunday.
"For the president, of course," he said as a pick-up truck passed by with loudspeakers urging people to attend Chavez's final election rally in Caracas on Thursday.
Venezuela's massive housing shortage has become a central issue ahead of Sunday's presidential election, with opposition candidate Henrique Capriles accusing the leftist leader at every turn of falling short on his pledge.
The president counters that his rival will undo his popular social missions, including the home construction project and other programs, such as free health care for the poor and state-run grocery stores.
Chavez, seeking a new six-year term after almost 14 years in power, has pledged to build three million new homes by 2019 if he wins the election in this country of 29 million people.
"Housing is at stake on October 7," Chavez said at a campaign rally on Tuesday. "When the next government period ends in 2019, not one Venezuelan family must be without dignified housing."
With millions of people living in slums and more left homeless by natural disasters over the years, the government has estimated a shortage of 2.7 million houses.
The government says that the Great Housing Mission of Venezuela has handed the keys to around 200,000 homes since its launch in April 2011.
But human rights group Provea charges the government figures are wrong.
"It is lower than what the government has publicly declared," Provea coordinator Marino Alvarado told AFP. "It is not correct that they've built 200,000 homes."
Provea conducted an investigation into the mission and found that just 44,954 homes had been built as of May 2012. A lack of information and inconsistent figures announced by ministers made the task difficult, it said.
Critics also say that some of the homes are full of defects because they were built in a rush.
Ahead of the election campaign, the official government channel began broadcasting a weekly program called "House Thursday," a show during which a lucky family is shown entering their new home and thanking Chavez.
Chavez is facing his biggest challenge since winning his first presidential election in 1998, with the latest opinion poll showing Capriles closing the gap to 10 points and other surveys showing a dead heat.
But support for the president remains strong among the country's poor.
"We are all Chavistas here," said Aura Teran, 39, who has lived in the Caracas shopping center garage for almost two years. "He helps the country with his missions. With Capriles, we would have to start things all over again."
Up a hill in another part of the capital, 1,200 more refugees occupy an unfinished building where posters of their "comandante," Chavez, hang on the doors of several white plastic cubicles.
Dubis Mallarina's cubicle had three rooms, including a small kitchen area, a room with a bunkbed for two of her five children, and her bedroom. One boy was sleeping while another watched cartoons from his parent's bed.
Mallarina and a group of friends looked at the blueprints of two 12-floor building projects hanging on the wall of another cubicle. The apartments have two bedrooms and a kitchen/living room, and they are scheduled to be ready around the end of the year.
"We all want our own home as soon as possible," Mallarina said.