On behalf of the Editors of the website and members of the research network for the advancement of a New Generation Housing Policies in Consolidated Low-income Settlements in Latin America I am pleased to welcome you to this public website hosted by the University of Texas at Austin, and to introduce some of the new initiatives that we have added to the website.

The research network comprises a multi-city comparative research project that was established in late 2006 under the umbrella of The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and the Department of Sociology, College of Liberal Arts. It includes leading researchers from the following countries and cities: Argentina (Buenos Aires); Brazil (Recife); Chile (Santiago); Colombia (Bogotá); Guatemala (Guatemala City); Mexico (Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara); Peru (Lima), Uruguay (Montevideo) and the Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo). See below for a brief video overview of the project (in Spanish) that was prepared by Dr Edith Jiménez and her colleagues at the Universidad de Guadalajara in preparation for our Regional Policy Roll-Out meeting in Guadalajara in November in 2011. Also see each case study city “Urbanization and Housing Trends” for a pdf of the summary poster that was prepared for the same event.

Earlier generations of housing policy include the “social” interest project housing in the 1960s and which morphed into large privately developed (but state supported) housing project estates for working and lower-middle class households in the first decade of the 21st century; a second generation of supportive policies for upgrading and regularization of irregular settlements that came to the fore in the late 1970s and which also continue today in many Latin American cities targeting especially the more recently formed informal settlements. We posit that public policy supports for a new generation” of housing needs are urgently required focusing upon urban revitalization and housing renovations, targeting especially the older irregular settlements that were established thirty or more years ago.

This new generation of housing analysis and policy will build upon the earlier rounds of policy development of the 1980s and 1990s, which continue to focus upon peripheral and newer irregular settlements but has the distinguishing policy focus upon rehabilitation, redesign, and retrofitting self-built housing for contemporary users and stakeholders. The primary anticipated product is to contribute new and sensitive policy recommendations to international housing agencies, national and city governments, as well as a series of collaborative publications that will, we hope stimulate further research and creative thinking about housing rehabilitation and urban sustainability.

This websites contains various portals that can be accessed via the top menu bar and through a brief introduction in either Spanish or English the reader will be directed to several discrete sections of LAHN’’s activities: The Network itself and detailed information about the case study cities; the Research Methodology that we have developed and the protocols associated with different stages and strategies of analysis; The Databases that we are creating to that common methodology; and Network Publications as these come on line. Not all materials are presented in both Spanish and English, and materials will be uploaded in the language in which they are received here in Austin. But we will aim to ensure that there is sufficient bilingual material in the portals and sub-folders so as to allow for adequate orientation and access around the website.

I am pleased to welcome and to formally announce the appointment of two LAHN Co-Editors, both of whom have been intimately engaged with the LAHN project and website content in the past three to four years. Since 2018 Dr. Francisca Bogolasky has been the principal website manager; and Dr. Kristine Stiphany created the Sao Paulo Extension page and the links to her own “Chapa” research project websites. They have some exciting proposals for additions to the website that will make it even more interactive and offer opportunities for other researchers to share their ideas and work on consolidated informal settlements through the LAHN website. We expect to begin implementing these additions in October 2022, so please watch this page. In the meantime, please direct any inquiries to the LAHN Project coordinator, Dr. Peter Ward, at the University of Texas at Austin: peter.ward@austin.utexas.edu

Once again, welcome!

Peter M. Ward Ph.D
Emeritus C.B. Smith Sr. Centennial #1 Chair in US-Mexico Relations
Emeritus Professor Dept. of Sociology and at the LBJ School of Public Affairs
University of Texas at Austin