Insights into life conditions of residents in social housing in Medellin, Colombia to contribute to the planning and management of healthier housing using a novel analytical method.

For the attention of: Social Institute of Housing and Habitat of Medellín and other social housing research and policy groups; Word Bank in Latin America and Caribbean and other low- middle-income countries; Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The problem: The living place is a determinant of health, in the last century the population growth has increased the housing demand, so the governments have invested in social housing for low-income dwellers, which has brought new urban configurations everywhere, including suburbanization, social polarization, and residential segregation. Therefore, it is necessary to study the life conditions related to the health of dwellers in social housing and to contribute to the planning and management of decent housing.

What we did and why: We used a novel methodology – the ‘Fuzzy Analytical Hierarchy Process’  – and criteria extracted from the 2017 Multidimensional Living Conditions Index of Medellin. The five communes with largest number of social housing projects were evaluated in terms of health, sustainability, and well-being. This made it possible to identify useful indicators to use when promoting the management of social housing for a healthy city.

What our study adds: The way we used this hierarchical analysis makes it possible to regroup the complex characteristics of a problem. Through integrating experts, we could  weight and evaluate the indicators of the living conditions of the inhabitants of social housing. The results can enrich territorial vision and guide decision-makers for better public policy.

Implications for city policy and practice: Cities on the road to sustainability are those that provide better health conditions. This article shows the applicability of multi-criteria analysis for decision-making in the context of public policies that contribute to improving the most dignified living conditions for the inhabitants of Medellín.

For related information: 

National Affordable Housing Program Project: World Bank

Full research article: Life conditions of residents in social housing in Medellin, Colombia: a Fuzzy Analytical Hierarchy Process by Harold Cardona-Trujillo (@hcardonat), Estefany Peña-Rojas, Eliana Martínez-Herrera and María Claudia Mejía-Gil.