Chile’s “social housing” approach since the late 1970s allowed hundreds of thousands of poor families to become home owners, and strengthened construction activity in the national economy. However, the low-cost and low-quality housing that was produced has increased socio-spatial discrimination, stigmatized the poor and created new urban and social problems. Similar policies in other countries have become instruments of neo-liberalism by attempting to “make markets work for the poor” instead creating public policies for sustainable and equitable cities. In response, a movement is emerging in Latin America focused on the “right to the city”. It is led by civil society organizations and urban social movements. It promotes a different kind of society in which people-centred housing and community development takes priority. The Habitat International Coalition is in a leading role in this movement in Latin America and globally. The Wellesley Institute is pleased to co-sponsor a seminar that will explore these issues and examine what Canadians can learn from this experience both for our domestic approach to urban housing, and for our international development programs.
Download the event flyer here .