Evaluation of The Impact of UN-Habitat’s Housing Approach to Adequate, Affordable Housing and Poverty Reduction, 2008-2019: ROLAC (Mexico) Report (4/2020)
The Mexican housing context emphasizes the challenge of improving the quality of life, reducing inequality, and achieving sustainability in existing neighborhoods and cities, rather than addressing rapid urbanization. From the late 1980s, the government promoted massive housing construction programs, effectively reducing the quantitative housing deficit but neglecting the qualitative housing deficit. The lack of access to economic opportunities and services in the cheaply built houses on the outskirts led to widespread abandonment, resulting in declining housing prices, vandalism, and increased crime and corruption. Furthermore, these strategies primarily benefited employees from the formal sector, leaving informal workers, renters, and marginalized households with limited access to credit and housing opportunities.
The UN-Habitat Housing Program in Mexico has evolved over time and has been largely demand-driven, responding to government requests. In recent years, it focused on flagship programs such as "Infonavit leading the 2030 Agenda in Mexico," leading to the publication "Vivienda y ODS" (Housing and the SDGs).
The evaluation assessed the program's value-added, impacts, and sustainability. The value-added was rated moderately relevant, with UN-Habitat acknowledged for technical expertise at the macro level and data analysis and facilitation of dialogue at the local level. The program's impacts included high-quality data and analysis provided to the government and stakeholders, influencing the National Housing Policy. At the local level, progressive public policies in Mexico City were influenced by UN-Habitat.
The report concluded with recommendations for the Mexico Country Office, including the development of a comprehensive housing policy and program framework, advocacy for pro-poor policies, and prioritizing knowledge management. Other recommendations include disseminating knowledge and operational experience, improving global and local knowledge on innovative approaches, and incorporating monitoring and evaluation systems for supported programs. Additionally, the participation of the Country Office in the Tren Maya project should be carefully reviewed to align program objectives with UN-Habitat principles on adequate housing, protection from eviction, and cultural adequacy.