Shelter From The Storm: Upgrading Housing Infrastructure In Latin American Slums
Galiani et al. (2014)
This paper provides empirical evidence regarding the causal effects that upgrading slum dwellings has on the living conditions of the extremely poor. In particular, the researchers study the impact of providing better houses in situ to slum dwellers in El Salvador, Mexico and Uruguay. They experimentally evaluate the impact of a housing project run by the NGO TECHO, which provides basic pre-fabricated houses to members of extremely poor population groups in Latin America. The main objective of the program is to improve household well-being.
Slum-dwellers from Mexico, Uruguay, and El Salvador were given a house built by the NGO TECHO housing project. The house is supposed to be temporal and serve as a transition between slum dwelling to better living conditions.
Slum-dwellers who did not receive the housing project were included in order to survey their quality of life, quality of household, and perceptions of safety.
1) NGO housing had a positive effect on the overall well-being of slum-dwellers, who were happier with their quality of life when living in NGO housing.
2) In Mexico and El Salvador, children living in NGO housing showed improvements in their health.
3) In El Salvador, slum-dwellers who received the houses also feel safer in comparison to non-NGO housed slum-dwellers.