On the Home Front

Oct 4, 2004

Sane macroeconomic policies and government planning have boosted real estate investment in Mexico. Other countries should follow its lead.

No Place Like Home: Millions of Latin Americans live in slums.
While demolition workers in Latin America's capitals labor hard at replacing elegant fin de siècle buildings and fine colonial quarters with glass-clad blocks, slums are appearing in the region's megacities at an even faster rate. Millions of Latin Americans still live in substandard housing, in neighborhoods blighted by violent crime, disease and the absence of public services.

The most recent data from the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) was compiled in the mid-1990s and estimated that Latin America needed to build 54 million housing units. The UN says Peru had the worst housing shortage. About 45% of Peru's population lived in sub-standard housing. Venezuela was close behind at 35%.

Mexico's government calculates that country has a shortfall of 4.3 million homes. With a population of 103 million, Mexico needs to...

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