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Insight: REIBC blog > Mazatlán’s Informal Housing

Mazatlán’s Informal Housing

posted on 10:52 AM, April 9, 2021
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Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) neighbourhood, Mazatlán. Credit: Mandy Hansen

RI Mandy Hansen’s doctorate field research in Mazatlán, Mexico, had her studying the role of informal housing in resort communities. What did she find, and how can we apply it here?

Hansen writes about the case of informal housing: “There are generally three ways that people, anywhere, can procure housing for themselves: the government provides it for them, they are able to buy or rent it from the private market, or they build it themselves . . .

“But there are many areas where the market doesn’t function effectively, and where government isn’t able to step in to bridge the gap. In these cases households, by necessity, take matters into their own hands and build their own homes wherever they can, with whatever materials they find.”

Hansen also reminds us that Canadian standards for housing have changed over time, and considers their appropriateness today, during a local housing crisis.

“The standards we have grown accustomed to here in Canada, such as large yards, wide roads, and very low single-family densities, worked well when our own population and demographic pressures were lower and we had room to expand. I would suggest that these standards no longer serve the needs of the greater good, however. Individually, each of us may appreciate our homes and private spaces, but they and the system that enables them are exclusionary.”

Input Fall 2020
Download Fall 2020

For more about informal housing, public housing, and the right to housing in Mazatlán, as well as local reflections, read Hansen’s “Understanding Housing in Mazatlán” in the Fall 2020 edition of Input. Download Fall 2020

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