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Unit 5

5.3 Housing

3 min readapril 29, 2021

Brittany Schwikert


AP Spanish Language 🇪🇸

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5.3: Housing 🏘️

The quality of housing (calidad de la vivienda) 🏘️ available can have a significant effect on one's own quality of life, both mentally and physically. Different critical factors in the measurements of housing quality include, but are not limited to: air quality (calidad de aire), presence of mold (presencia de moho), safety (seguridad), proximity to work (proximidad al trabajo), access to water (acceso al agua), and meeting a family’s budget (presupuesto familiar). Those living in poor-quality homes are at a greater risk for developing chronic disease (enfermedad crónica) 🤒 and injuries (heridos) 🤕, as well as poor mental health (salud mental) 😢.
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-WzPdTjguNn95.png?alt=media&token=50dacae7-b884-49e7-8a97-c0681b75f857

Brick houses in Barcelona, Spain 

Image from Unsplash

Housing in Latin America 

Latin America’s population continues to grow and expand, yet the availability of housing has failed to keep up with surges in population 🧑‍🤝‍🧑 📈🧑‍🤝‍🧑. Few apartments and/or homes are available, and those that are available often contain deficiencies.  According to one set of estimates, deficiencies were found in over half of the current housing. Those deficiencies could include lack of running water, crumbling infrastructure, or presence of mold. 
However, the level of gravity with housing issues varies from country to country, and certainly between regions and cities as well. On a whole, poor countries tend to have worse housing conditions than wealthier countries, and living conditions tend to fare better in cities 🌃 than in rural areas 🌄. One factor that accounts for these differences is the level of home ownership and what services are available within cities (roofing agencies, plumbing, electricity repair, etc.). As with most social inequities, living conditions also vary greatly by gender, age, and social class. 
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-hKjw8EK32MmN.png?alt=media&token=019e22c8-0550-4ede-bf0e-ceb2caa23358

Bógota, Colombia 

Image from Unsplash

Lack of Policies

One of the biggest gaps in housing issues across Latin America is the lack of fair and equitable policies that could help impoverished families own a home, or even have access to renting one.  Researcher Alan Gilbert suggests that since housing exists as an “intermediate position” between other social and economic policies, it’s largely overlooked and ignored. In other words, all the money that the government has is more easily spent on economic and social policies, but those don’t often take into consideration housing crises that plague many of Latin America’s urban areas. 
*Information gathered from Inter-American Development Bank

Financial Insecurity

The main factor in lack of stable housing in Latin America is due to financial reasons 💰. Central governments are tasked with distributing funds for housing, and while they may be able to create new homes, they often then lack additional funds to provide consistent upkeep and other urban services. It’s challenging for governments to create appropriate and safe housing for all its citizens at a low cost, and many of the low income neighborhoods that need the most renovation are often overlooked. 
In Latin America, cities have continued to expand in size, yet available and equitable housing has failed to keep up at the same pace. As a result, many vulnerable populations are without shelter, exposed to the natural elements, and continuously on the move. 
*Information gathered from IHC Global and Inter-American Development Bank
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-VvjpsVirLsh3.png?alt=media&token=e334ecd8-b1a3-47c0-8c1b-0407ff392b0c

Cienfuegos, Cuba

 Image from Unsplash

Strive for Five Vocab  🔑

  • Vivienda - housing 
  • Calidad de vivienda - quality of housing
  • Calidad del aire - Air quality 
  • Presencia de moho - presence of mold
  • Seguridad - security
  • Proximidad al trabajo - proximity to work
  • Acceso al agua - access to water
  • Presupuesto familiar - Family budget
  • Enfermedad crónica - chronic disease
  • Heridas - Injuries 
  • Salud mental  - mental health 

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👨‍👩‍👧Unit 1: Families in Different Societies
🗣Unit 2: The Influence of Language and Culture on Identity
🎨Unit 3: Influences of Beauty and Art
🔬Unit 4: How Science and Technology Affect Our Lives
🏠Unit 5: Factors That Impact the Quality of Life
🌪Unit 6: Environmental, Political, and Societal Challenges
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