On Wednesday September 19th, Guatemala City’s Productive Housing Program was presented to the public and general media by the Mayor of Guatemala City, Mr. Alvaro Arzú, and the Rector of the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, Mr. Estuardo Gálvez, as part of the recently created Metropolitan Housing and Urban Development Agency.

From Post-conflict to Productive Housing

With the signing the Peace Accords between the Government of Guatemala and the URNG in 1996, Central America’s last armed conflict came to an end. In a post-conflict political situation, despite efforts in plans and policies, Central America has yet to establish a clear housing policy.

A 5th IABR CounterSite, Posconflicto Laboratory is an ongoing project developed as an inter-institutional atelier to address the structural housing deficit in Guatemala City’s metropolitan area. Architecture, planning and politics come together as a program to provide access to housing, especially to the most disfavored and vulnerable Guatemalans and Central Americans. The program, based on a crossed-subsidy model within central urban areas, works as a self-sufficient mechanism for the generation of wealth and social justice. A market-driven housing operation directed towards a middle-income group, provides the necessary capital counterpart of a self-managed housing cooperative operation aimed at families living in poverty and extreme poverty.

Roberto Soundy, of the Posconflicto Laboratory: “Our project's participation in the IABR has fostered an unprecedented fertile ground allowing the Universidad de San Carlos, the Vice-ministry of Housing and especially the Municipality of Guatemala to gather critical support for the project. At the same time, it has enabled us to engage in a productive debate to break ground and make operative the urgent need of a social housing policy in Central America.”

Posconflicto Laboratory: Making City + Productive Housing Program in Guatemala & Central America is a project by the Metropolitan Housing and Urban Development Agency of the Municipality of Guatemala, the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, the Asociación Centroamericana Taller de Arquitectura (a—c—t—a), with support from the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies in Rotterdam (IHS) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB—GU-T1076).

Pilot projects, currently underway, are due to be implemented from 2013.

For more information about Posconflicto Laboratory’s project breakthrough click here