National housing policies are often limited by the need to implement structural change. In 1997, urban reform laws in Colombia created decentralized municipal, administrative, and political systems; since then, local governments have acquired planning, fiscal, and administrative autonomy, and are administered by elected councils and mayors. Municipalities emerged as key players for introducing land policy and planning changes to buttress the low-income housing supply and also to directly upgrade slums. Colombia is a good example of a country in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region where municipalities have stepped into the void that was left by national policies and it has taken the lead in terms of housing. Bogota and Medellin have had successful experiences with low-income housing policy. With strong institutions, financial muscle, and favorable political environments, these two cities present noteworthy examples of innovative territorial approaches and advantages of urban reform law in force that includes planning instruments that serve as a platform for policies that relate to large-scale, integrated, and low-income housing; slum upgrading; and land issues. Limited to the two cities, the experiences, unfortunately, did not evolve into national policies. Nonetheless, taken in isolation, the successes of Bogota and Medellin exemplify the significant constraints that municipalities face and they underscore the continuing need for urban reform to enable the implementation of robust national policies. These policies make it possible for municipalites to promote integrated, low-income housing and increase the focus on slum upgrading.
Monroy Hernandez, M. C. (2018). The Status of Women’s Political Empowerment Worldwide. In Measuring Women’s Political Empowerment across the Globe Strategies, Challenges and Future Research (pp. 55-76). Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-64006-8