Informality Revisited. Latin American Perspectives on Housing, the State and the Market. Bulletin of Latin American Research Book Series

  • ID: 3195828
  • Book
  • Region: America (exc North)
  • 208 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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The term ‘informal’ refers to the collective and individual actions of low–income households building their dwellings outside the legal framework of property rights and planning regulations. This social process is common throughout Latin American, but some of the region’s governments have created formalisation programmes to regularise the property rights of informal settlement residents.

Informality Revisited offers an overview of recent debates about what Latin American governments are achieving with their programmes for the formalisation of informal settlements and housing provision in a neo–liberal context. The text brings together ten leading Latin American researchers in the field of land and housing policy, with specific expertise in informal urban development, who argue that government actions have focused on making the market more efficient. Unlike other contributions that have treated urban informality as a separate issue, the contributors highlight the interrelationships between formal and informal urban development, showing how economic and legal reforms intended to make land and housing markets more efficient and profitable has affected the production of urban space for the low–income population. The text identifies the contradictions in land market deregulation and explores the paradoxes and ambiguity inherent in treating the free market and privatisation as the key to preventing the reproduction of informal settlements and reducing poverty levels.

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Clara Salazar is a lecturer and researcher at the Centre for Demographic, Urban and Environmental Studies, El Colegio de México. She has given guest lectures in many universities in Mexico and elsewhere and has published four books, as author, co–author or editor, and around fifty book chapters and articles in specialist journals. Her research analyses informal urban development, focusing on the strategies employed by poor households to gain access to land and housing as well as the role of the state in this context.
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