Housing Access & Urban Governance
Changes to federal housing policy in Mexico in the 1990s helped finance the largest housing boom in the country’s history. During the 2000s, millions of Mexicans acquired mortgages to buy homes in the fringes of cities throughout the country. At the same time, decentralization efforts were under way to increase the capacity of local governments to, among other things, manage urban growth. Yet, even large municipalities have been ill equipped to provide adequate infrastructure and services to the new remote housing locations that have popped up in the last two decades. Furthermore, an increasing number of Mexican households have struggled to keep up with their mortgage payments with the result that some new developments have alarmingly high housing vacancy rates, all while about a third of Mexicans live in poor housing conditions. What can Mexico’s experience teach other cities and countries as they confront their own housing challenges? On November 19, 2018, IMFG 2018-2019 Post-Doctoral Fellow Alejandra Reyes presented in her research seminar, "Housing Access & Urban Governance: Lessons from Mexico’s Recent Experience," on the tension between federal housing finance strategies and municipal governance and implementation, the policy shortcomings at different levels, and the implications of a lack of coordination.