What is social housing and what is the challenge of building it for those who have less?

In Mexico, in recent years the construction of houses of social interest It has lost strength and interest on the part of developers, despite being the most affordable for the population to acquire.

In the first quarter of 2022, of the 34,067 houses registered for construction, those corresponding to the economic segment barely represented 0.62% of the total, with just over 200 units, according to figures from the Single Housing Registry (RUV).

That is to say, among the plans of the formal developers, at the beginning of this year throughout the country, 210 houses with a value of less than 118 UMAS would be outlined, which, at this year’s amount, represents about 350,000 pesos.

Even in entities such as Nuevo León, the most dynamic in terms of housing registration and production, the houses of social interest they are less and less. In the first quarter, of the 4,814 projects registered by developers, only one house from the economic segment was counted.

Regarding the houses in production, the segment of social interest It also faces a drastic reduction compared to other years.

For example, between January and March 2022, the RUV counted 724 houses of the economy segmenta figure higher than the records for the same period of the previous four years, but far from the 6,500 social interest houses reported in the first quarter of 2016.

But what is a house of social interest?

In order to classify housing products, as well as the financing scheme they receive, the following characteristics are taken into account:

  • Area.
  • Prices.
  • Space distribution.

Thus, according to the glossary of the National Housing Information and Indicators System, the houses of social interest either economic They are those with an average construction surface of 40 square meters, with a bathroom, a kitchen and a multipurpose area and their price, calculated in UMAS, must not be greater than 118 units, that is, less than 350,000 pesos.

And although the housing classification covers other low-cost segments such as the popular and traditional, subdivided into B1 and B2, its maximum cost for production alone is up to 600,000 pesos.

By arrangement, these dwellings, which are more expensive than those of social interestbut not considered average housing, must have a bathroom, a kitchen, a living room, a dining area and up to two bedrooms, with an average area of ​​50 square meters and even a parking space.

In this case, popular and traditional housing ranges in a cost range between 375,000 and close to 600,000 pesos.

Necessary to have conditions for social interest housing

For housing developers, the lower construction of houses of social interest It is not a matter of preference, because although there is a commitment to build this type of unit, the simple intention is not enough because other incentives must be had.

Luis Alberto Moreno Gómez Monroy, current president of the National Chamber of the Housing Development and Promotion Industry (Canadevi), commented that the construction of social interest it requires collaboration between the private sector, as well as with the three levels of government, to facilitate paperwork and affordable land.

“It’s not that we don’t like to build housing for people with these (low) incomes, it’s that it’s very complicated to be able to do it,” he said.

He pointed out that, although there is financing for workers with lower incomes, between 2.8 and 5 UMAs, about 15,000 pesos maximum per month, the housing supply is not serving this segment.

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