The Christian Science Monitor, 6/26/2013
Mexico has one of the largest housing gaps in Latin America: More citizens need quality homes with access to infrastructure and services than currently exist. As more people move to urban areas in search of a middle class life, Mexico will need to build 8.5 million new homes over the next 12 years in order to meet demand, according to the Inter-American Development Bank. So why, then, do so many homes in Mexico sit empty?
Twelve years ago, this seemed like an unlikely outcome. The government was on a campaign to construct more affordable homes, with an eye toward expanding home ownership, boosting social mobility, and stimulating the economy. As a result, millions of homes were built. Some 4.3 million mortgages were issued by the government-backed lender, Infonavit, and its partners between 2001 and 2011. But there was a catch: Many of the homes bought with these loans were constructed on the fringe of urban areas and failed to meet minimum standards.