Social renting into the agenda
Habitat for Humanity Argentina promotes campaign
Habitat for Humanity Argentina promotes a campaign to incorporate social renting into the agenda of electoral proposals for 2023
“3x3 meters room in a tenement for a couple with children, without windows, gas or water, with shared bathroom and laundry area”. This could be the ad that a family that does not have the basic requirements to access the formal real estate market would read when looking for a rental they can afford. The popular sectors are exposed to living in unhealthy conditions in tenements, and boarding houses as the only alternative to homelessness.
For this reason, Habitat for Humanity Argentina relaunched the campaign #AlquilerSocialYa, to put on the agenda, in a key election year, the urgency of implementing public policies that provide answers to the housing crisis.
Social renting is a model of access to housing aimed at people who are excluded from the formal rental market, such as those who are economically vulnerable, the elderly or those who experience gender-based violence. According to experiences in other countries, it contemplates facilities for construction, training and financing tools, among other strategies. In Argentina, Law 27.551 of 2020 created the National Social Rental Program, but so far it has not been implemented.
“Living in adequate housing brings with it the possibility of accessing other basic rights. On the opposite, living in unsafe or unhealthy conditions has a very high negative impact on people’s health. About 90% of the deaths of children caused by diarrheal diseases are directly related to contaminated water, lack of sanitation or inadequate hygiene, which are frequent situations in tenements, boarding houses or tenements”, explained Paula Celestino Ayala, Deputy Director of Institutional Development of the organization.
There are other negative consequences that people who are excluded from the real estate market suffer, such as receiving discriminatory responses for not having an ‘appropriate address’ when attending a job interview or not having a homeowner’s guarantee or money to pay a surety insurance when they want to rent under the conditions demanded by the formal circuit.
For Habitat for Humanity Argentina, it is essential that the candidates who aspire to win the 2023 national elections incorporate in their range of policy proposals to address the housing needs of the most vulnerable sector of the country, as well as to be aware of the characteristics of the housing deficit in Argentina, which for the organization is fundamentally “qualitative”.
“The main problem is the poor quality of the available places to live, where overcrowding and and the inaccessibility of services, even more than the amount that would be necessary to build. At the same time, the requirements to access a formal rent make invisible many families who do not have them and then cannot access a roof over their heads”, described Celestino.
In order to promote the incorporation of a public policy for social renting and contribute to its visibility, the organization carried out a workshop for dissemination and awareness-raising aimed at presidential candidates and their work teams, as well as relevant social and academic actors.
“We believe that it is urgent that those who are running for executive positions know what happens to people in a situation of socioeconomic exclusion and that they incorporate in their management agenda in case they take office a national program that provides real answers to this problem”, Celestino called.