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Affordability and Housing Preferences for New Urban Housing Projects

Book - Book

A fundamental change in the planning and delivery of new housing projects has taken place in the last years, with the focus shifting towards adding value to projects based on a better understanding of housing preferences. In the Latin American region the importance of improving the quality of life in new social housing projects has become in the last years a major concern, due to the poor quality of the products offered and the low acceptance by the population. This research focuses in the development of a simulation tool, for modelling costs, prices, quality and housing preferences, in order to integrate the different issues of a trans-disciplinary approach for providing more successful and affordable new housing projects. For this research a model was developed, based on a case study and in a survey performed in the city of Guayaquil-Ecuador, and information obtained from field work research was used to test it. The method used for obtaining data from respondents in the survey was the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM), through the direct questioning of individuals over their willingness to pay for additional improvements of housing characteristics. Then, in order to introduce preferences from survey to the simulation tool, as quantifiable parameters, a methodology using utility curves based on people’s preferences was developed. Those curves represent the additional value given by housing users for preferred housing characteristics. The different parts of the model along with data requirements for each part are described, considering housing and urban design, costs, prices and quality evaluations.Model results give insights over housing user’s preferences for better and affordable urban environments, at one hand, and allowing to the developer to reach reasonable profit at the other hand. Implications and limitations of the model for including housing preferences considering local conditions and cultural values are analysed. The study concludes with the identification of the most optimal combination of housing characteristics and number of housing units per housing types that will lead to an increase value of the project, translated in more reasonable profits for developers and the provision of better, more affordable and accepted projects for housing users. The approach of this book is based on a new paradigm of research for investigating housing affordability: trans-disciplinary, covering and crossing the fields of different disciplines and including the participation of different actors in the housing process. As a practice-oriented approach it is not confined to the academic circles where knowledge is produced, but to users in society, and all others participants in the housing process, then this book should be especially helpful for professionals in the fields of housing and urban development, sociologists, economists, housing and urban planners, concerned industries, business and governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Publication year:2015