Quality social housing in Colombia: towards an integral solution

Andrea Baena, Camilo Olaya


Social housing is one of the deepest felt needs in Colombia, for 2011 the number of families without quality housing reached 3.5 million. Even though the statistics reflect the severity of the problem, its real dimension is deeper and much more complex as it interconnects many actors with diverse motivations, who are in constant interaction. The policies that are being currently applied in the country are mostly linear and are not supported on the structure of the system. By simply granting more subsidies or imposing severe minimum laws, it will not be possible to regenerate the feedback structure and obtain real improvement. In this article we will study Colombia´s social housing from a systems perspective in order to propose structural policies that will modify the dominance of different potential feedback cycles to accomplish a real change in the quality of this type of housing. Some of the opportunities to empower the virtuous cycles are found in the community networks, the economies of scale and the quality of the housing as a way to impulse progress. The greatest dangers that should be treated are the high economic, social and security costs generated by informal housing and low quality formal housing, and the well intentioned control that limits innovation.


Housing; model; policies; simulation; social; system.


Bonduki, N. (2011). Política Habitacional en Brasil: desafíos y límites. La vivienda en América Latina: Revisando estrategias. Bogotá: Foro VIS. Universidad de los Andes.

Camargo, J. (2011, Septiembre). Normas mínimas VIS. (A. Baena, Entrevistadora)

Escallón, C., & Rodriguez, D. (2010). Las preguntas por la calidad de la vivienda: ¿quién las hace?, ¿quién las responde? De-arq , 6, 6-9

Fique, L. (2005). La habitabilidad de la vivienda de interés social en Colombia: Un enfoque en los procesos y las decisiones. Revista INVI, 20(55), 12-19

Florían, A. (2003). Vivienda:derecho o mercancia? proceso o producto? [documento de Fedevivienda , presentado en la Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Argentina. Recuperado de http://www.fedevivienda.org.co/aa/img_upload/646f63756d656e746f732e2e2e2e2e2e/Vivienda_derecho_o_mercancia.PDF

Held, G. (2000). Políticas de vivienda de interés social orientadas al mercado: experiencias recientes con subsidios a la demanda en Chile, Costa Rica y Colombia. Santiago de Chile: CEPAL / Naciones Unidas.

Mesa, D. & Villaveces , J. (2008). Descentralización y política de vivienda de interés social en Colombia: ¿Qué ha pasado? [Serie Documentos de Trabajo, No. 43]. Bogotá, Colombia: Universidad del Rosario. Disponible en http://www.urosario.edu.co/urosario_files/91/91cc3760-1921-4c90-9567-c34badc8bd1b.pdf

Pecha-Garzón, C. (2011). Programa de vivienda de interés social en Colombia: una evaluación [Discussion paper TDP-0111, Office of Evaluation and Oversight]. Washington DC: BID

Pizano, E. (2005). Del UPAC a la UVR. Vivienda en Colombia 1970-2005. Bogotá: Unión Gráfica

Ramirez, M. C. (2011). Par. Bogotá, Colombia: Universidad de los Andes

Sterman, J. (2000). Business Dynamics. Systems thinking and modeling for a complex world. McGraw-Hill

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18046/syt.v11i24.1521


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Comments on this article

View all comments