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Washington D.C. 2013

  • Background and Purpose
    Since the early 1980s upgrading and tenure regularization have been widely accepted policies to assist owner self-help housing construction in informal settlements that have come to make up between 20-60 per center of the built-up area of Latin American cities. Today many of these first suburbs are fully integrated into what is now the intermediate ring of the city. However, few researchers and even fewer policy makers have these consolidated settlements on their agenda. Fully serviced, after thirty years or more of intensive use these areas are facing intensive deterioration of the physical fabric, utilities, and community. Since 2007 the Latin American Housing Network (LAHN www.lahn.utexas.org) has been studying these areas through independent research groups working to a common methodology in nine Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay).This year we are organizing a series of regional policy roll outs as we begin thinking about a new generation of housing policy that will focus upon housing and community rehabilitation of the existing housing stock. It is hoped that this path-breaking study might inform multilateral agencies, NGOS, central and local governments, and other housing and community development researchers leading up to the UNHABITAT III Conference in 2016.

    At the meeting hosted by the Woodrow Wilson Center LAHN researchers gave a briefing about the principal findings from the comparative studies, and identified several of the principal policy lines that are should be considered as a new generation of actions and approaches are formulated targeting the first suburbs and which emphasize rehabilitation of the housing stock, rather than the development of new housing or upgrading and improvement of younger self-help settlements.
  • Principal Points that Emerged from the Discussion
    The meeting was well attended and comprised over 20 participants including representatives of the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, Habitat for Humanity International, and other institutions.

    The following pages offer a guide to the several pdf files containing various parts of the presentation that formed part of the Agenda. Because of the size of the files they have been broken down to facilitate easier reading. Detailed reports about the policy arenas, publications and other documentation are available on the LAHN website at www.lahn.utexas.org

    Feedback and commentary is welcome from all readers, to Peter Ward at: peter.ward@austin.utexas.edu