Citizens' housing solution preferences in two communities: Esperanza Andina, Chile and Cayo Hueso, Cuba

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Tech

Housing competes with other basic necessities for the limited resources of a society. Social policy reflects the priority placed on these basic needs by the state as well as citizens. The purpose of this study is to examine citizen housing solution preferences and explore how these preferences can be used to create more effective housing policies. In this research, informants focused on three housing solutions: 1) complete state provision, 2) complete free market provision, or 3) a combination of limited state assistance with community participation. My case studies of Esperanza Andina, Chile and Cayo Hueso, Cuba investigate the resident's views on the roles of the state, the market and citizens for housing provision and attainment through unstructured interviews. Despite having two different political economies, the residents in both of these communities preferred a mixture of state assistance and community participation for their housing solution. The finding of this study reinforces some of the most recent literature on the importance and effective results of community participation. In Chile, sixteen years of authoritarian rule hampered a strong history of citizen action for social needs. With a return to electoral democracy in 1990, citizens in Esperanza Andina are organizing more effectively to participate in the fulfillment of their housing needs and preferences. In Cuba, Castro's centralized Socialist government has allowed little citizen input to influence the provision of overall social needs. However, citizens in Cayo Hueso are organizing to represent and fulfill their own housing needs and preferences.