Latin America and the Caribbean Face Large and Growing Housing Deficit, IDB Study Says

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Countries need to improve land regulation, boost financing and mobilize private resourcesto increase the supply of adequate and affordable housing

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“Our region needs to address the root cause and not only the symptoms of the housing problem,’’ said César Bouillon, the coordinator of the IDB study.

Latin America and the Caribbean faces a large and growing housing deficit, which can only be addressed if governments in the region foster greater private sector investment to increase the supply of adequate and affordable housing, according to a new study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Currently, one in three families in Latin America and the Caribbean, or 59 million people, live in dwellings that are either unsuitable for habitation or are built with poor materials and lack basic infrastructure services. As many as 2 million out of the 3 million households that spring up annually in Latin American cities are forced to settle in informal housing, such as slums, because of insufficient supply of adequate and affordable dwellings, according to the new book, “Room for Development: Housing Markets in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

The book, the latest edition of the IDB’s flagship publication Development in the Americas, takes an in-depth look into the housing markets of more than 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and analyzes the region’s regulations and policies. The study shows that Latin America and the Caribbean have a higher incidence of slums than other countries with similar income levels, a sign that the region’s housing markets are failing to meet demand for formal dwellings, particularly for the low-income population.

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Romina Nicaretta
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