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30 years after
Balancing resources and quality in low-income housing

By : Jorge Andrade Narveaz and Andr

This essay describes the main characteristics of the two predominant as well as two emergent housing production systems used by the low income population in Mexico City to solve its housing problem. The emergent systems described in this article developed in the last century around the 70ís. After more than 30 years of the emergence of these production systems, the authors make a comparison of the resources employed in producing housing versus the overall quality achieved in time. Through the description of the main characteristics of these production systems, a comparative analysis - of the resources employed versus the quality achieved - in each of these housing production options is made. This analysis makes us understand that the actual housing policies in Mexico need some major changes in order to achieve a more balanced relationship between the input in resources and the output in quality in the low income housing production in Mexico. The conclusion drawn from this is that while the housing produced by the social sector slowly improves its quality through time, the housing produced by the private sector for low-income population tends to deteriorate. Producing finished dwellings (as the private sector does) seems not to be the best option, whereas producing incremental dwellings with an open building approach is a better option.

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