IHS Rotterdam: The importance of Technical Assistance for Incremental Housing (Rethinking habitable spaces as a solution to the COVID-19 crisis)

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In Latin America most of the housing stock has developed incrementally. This means, gradually, based upon the families’ financial capacity and, with little to neither professional support. Today, the InterAmerican Development Bank (IBD), states that the region faces a qualitative shortage, in which 94% of the housing stock requires on-site solutions. Capable to intervene existing homes to ensure structural soundness and respond to the specific needs of the families that inhabits them. In this context, technical assistance aids to place the families at the center, where professional support is made accessible and allows to consolidate safe houses, with sound structures and habitability parameters, based also in what each family wishes and needs. 

In the time of COVID-19, the discussions surrounding housing are at a turn point. In a time where people are requested to stay at home, the definition of the right to adequate housing and its universal coverage are put to challenge. What are the parameters to define a safe house and why it is so important to address this issue? Is having a house with permanent materials enough? What has emerged during this crisis that needs to be considered in the context of incremental housing? This webinar approaches these questions based upon two organizations specialized in technical assistance located in Colombia and Mexico

About the speakers

Lucía Valenzuela 

Lucía is an expert in incremental housing in Latin America. Presently she is the Coordinator for Institutional Liaison at Centro de Apoyo Mejoremos, one of the most renown organisations in Mexico specialised in providing social and technical assistance for incremental housing addressed towards low-income families. In 2017, she pursued a Masters from IHS where she conducted joint research in the topic of government’s provision for affordable housing in Thailand with the support of IHS and the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR). Lucia also collaborated with the Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning at Utrecht University, DAIDA Foundation, IHS and Habitat for Humanity International for research and publication on incremental housing in the Global South.

Diana Muñoz

Diana leads Build Change’s country program in Colombia, she is responsible for coordinating active projects in Bogotá and Medellin, as well as representing Build Change in country to support the organization’s position a trusted advisor, and key stakeholder in resilience for housing and schools for the national government, local governments, and a diverse range of private partners. She joined Build Change in 2019, after completing post graduate studies in Urban Management and Development in Rotterdam, motivated by her interest in the welfare of people across cities. She is an urban/regional planner and an architect with more than 14 years of experience in land management, planning and development of social housing. She previously served as the director of a national land use plan program in the National Planning Department (DNP-Colombia), providing leadership for country wide World Bank funded programs, she also was the Director of the City Planning Department, for the city of Cali.


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Released on: Alumni in Mexico, Alumni in Colombia, IHS Rotterdam
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