About 36 Million Mexicans Lack Decent Housing

La Jornada: Israel Rodríguez

A third of Mexico’s population lacks access to decent housing conditions and more than 2.25 million people live in overcrowding, according to reports from the Secretariat of Treasury and Public Credit (SHCP).

In their weekly report the agency indicated that the housing deficit in Mexico totals 9 million homes. These represent 31 percent of private inhabited dwellings, and involves 35.7 million people.

Per component, they observe that overcrowding is concentrated in 561 thousand homes, while 1.1 million dwellings are built with deteriorating materials and 7.3 million units have less than optimal conditions.

Despite this deficit, during the last couple of decades they have observed an improvement in the quality and furnishing of homes, according to the INEGI [National Institute of Statistics] Censuses of Population and Housing. So, in the last 20 years the average number of occupants per unit shows a gradual descent from 5 people per unit in 1990 to 3.9 in 2010.

Similarly, 19.5 percent of inhabited places in 1990 had dirt floors, while in 2010 that percentage went down to 6.2 percent.

In 1990, 87.5 percent of private homes had electricity, while the coverage for 2010 was 97.8 percent.

In turn, the percentage of those with available running water in 1990 came to 79.4 percent, but by 2010 it was at 91.5 percent. Drainage coverage also went up from 63.6 percent to 90.3 percent.

The number of inhabited dwellings in Mexico went from 21.9 million in 2000 to 28.6 million in 2010.

However, even with the advances seen in indicators of housing amenities, there is still a great challenge to provide housing to the nearly 36 million Mexicans who lack a decent home. There is a need for more credits with financing rates and more accessible prices. The need to consolidate sustainable housing development planning stands out among the challenges. . . .

Translated by Penn Tomassetti at MexicoVoices.net

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