LAS 381 • HOUSING PRACTICE & PUBLIC POLICY IN LAT AMER
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
This graduate course aims to introduce students to different interpretations and methodologies used in evaluating the nature of low-income housing problems in Latin America, and to assess the rationale and effectiveness of public policy in the region. It does so in such a way as to include the self-help colonias housing areas of Texas, and in part asks the question: What can we learn from the Latin American experience about housing policy here in Texas. The course will adopt a "political economy" paradigm of the housing process which examines the way in which housing production assists capital accumulation and serves to integrate low-income groups into urban life both socially and politically. The changing nature of housing processes and the adequacy of public policy initiatives to respond, will allow us to begin to interpret both the reasons underpinning state intervention and to evaluate the relative effectiveness of public policy. The course begins with a broad overview of housing production as a development issue, and a student-led workshop will identify urbanization and housing data trends for a number of Latin American countries. Mid semester will include an optional fieldtrip to examine colonia housing in the two Laredos. During the core of the course, classes will comprise a combination of preliminary orientation "lecture" on the topic followed by student-led seminars, and each student will be expected to lead discussion and present at least two "Practice and Policy" generic papers on Latin America relating to one of a selection of substantive issues (access to land; self-help housing; gender and housing; renting and non-ownership; infrastructure; community participation and management; housing finance, and so on.). Final "round-up" seminars will address the following broad questions: Housing Methodology; The Role of the World Bank and Urban "Productivity"; Prioritizing Public Intervention; and the Institutionalization of Housing Policy; Texas Housing Policy ¡© Learning from Latin America. A reading knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese is desirable but not essential for participation in this course.
COURSE GRADE will be based upon 35% for each term paper and 30% for participation.
Key Texts: *=available in paperback edition & highly recommended for purchase. ¢² United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (HABITAT), 1996. An Urbanizing World: Global Report on Human Settlements. Oxford University Press, New York. ¢² Peter Ward. 1999. Colonias and Public Policy in Texas and Mexico: Urbanization by Stealth. (University of Texas Press)* ¢² Alan Gilbert. 1994. The Latin American City. (London, Latin American Books, & New York, Monthly Review Press)*