RESHIM: Rethinking Social Housing in Mexico

RESHIM is a multifaceted project focused on two central research components: 1) report on urban governance conditions and case study research in seven metropolitan areas across Mexico and 2) planning guidelines for redensification and sustainable urban development. In partnership with INFONAVIT, the RESHIM project has coordinated three Urban Planning and Design Option Studios at the GSD, with work in Celaya, Tlalnepantla, Oaxaca, and Mérida. Together with Harvard GSD Executive Education, the RESHIM project has also collaborated on Capacity Building training for executives and partners working on federal housing and urban development policy in Mexico. 

Building on fieldwork in seven Mexican cities, the governance research led by Professor Davis introduces findings from the fieldwork and policy recommendations proposed to INFONAVIT. The report outlines the major barriers and enablers to densification and identifies the series of obstacles that must be overcome if mortgage credits for social housing are to be used to build more sustainable cities. Case study research has taken place in seven metropolitan areas across Mexico: Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes; Cancún, Quintana Roo; Guadalajara, Jalisco; Mérida, Yucatán; Monterrey, Nuevo Leon; Oaxaca, Oaxaca; and Tijuana, Baja California. Fieldwork research has revealed the range of housing dynamics across different cities and a unique set of challenges facing densification and social housing development.  

Overall, the project addresses the following questions: What are strategies for better coordinating different levels of government to produce and renovate social housing in urban Mexico? What kinds of regulatory and technical tools, or other urban planning and design interventions, can be used to improve practice and successfully implement the new national housing policy? What levels of government would have to embrace them and how can they be mobilized? What are the challenges in coordinating the new national housing and urban policies with state and local government actions critical to the success of the national policies?

Ann Forsyth (Co-Principal Investigator), Diane E. Davis (Co-Principal Investigator), Nelida Escobedo (Research Associate), Margaret Scott (Research Associate), Elizabeth Antonellis (Project Assistant) 


Visit the Rethinking Social Housing website.

Sponsored by INFONAVIT, Mexico’s National Worker Housing Finance Agency