FROM THE ARCHITECTS:
The challenge of this project was to accommodate 100 families living in a 30-year old slum, using a subsidy of USD $7,500 that in the best of the cases allowed for 36 square meters of built space in a 5,000-square-meter site, the cost of which was three times what social housing could normally afford. The aim was to keep the families’ social and economic networks, which they had created close to the center city, instead of evicting the families to the periphery. And we wanted the families to live in houses able to achieve a middle-class standard instead of condemning them to an everlasting social housing one. None of the solutions in the market solved the equation. So we thought of a typology that, as buildings could make a very efficient use of land and as houses allowed for expansion. We provided the families with the “half a house” that would be difficult for them to build for themselves and we gave them space to “complete the house” as their means allowed. After a year, property values tripled and yet, all the families have preferred to stay and keep on improving their homes. Read more.