Tlajomulco de Zúñiga, Mexico
"Renta tu Casa (Rent Your Home)"
BASIC CITY DATA
- Population size: 727,750
- Surface Area (sq.km): 682.501
- Population Density (people/sq.km): 1066.2
"Renta tu Casa" is the first municipal program that rents uninhabited social housing in Mexico. Through this unique social program in Latin America, the City Council of Tlajomulco de Zúñiga, in the State of Jalisco, has transformed uninhabited housing (negative inheritance of the period of mass production of housing in the 2000s) into an opportunity to give housing solutions to homes that, due to various situations, have been excluded from the formal market. The direct beneficiaries of the program are people who have been on the street, who have suffered domestic or gender violence, elderly people with low economic income, people with disabilities and displaced people or migrants. The program allows the municipality to play a role as a mediator, manager and endorsement among the owners of the properties, who for various reasons have chosen to keep their home uninhabited, and the tenants, who obtain government support for the occupation of a home. The program guarantees owners the full payment of the rent at market prices (maximum 150 dollars per month) as well as a subsidy for their habilitation of the house when necessary. In the case of beneficiaries, a fixed economic rental price is established (17 USD per month) and they are given legal certainty about the ownership of the home. In the first three years of operation, the program has managed to provide housing solutions to 390 households in the municipality that lived in conditions of housing and social precariousness.
The current municipal government of Tlajomulco de Zúñiga has developed a series of ambitious programs that have demonstrated the importance of the participation of the municipal level for the orderly planning of the territory, access to land and housing. One of them is the Renta tu Casa (RTC) program, managed by the Housing Directorate, belonging to the General Directorate of Culture of Peace and Co-responsibility of the Municipality. For its operation, rules and regulatory instruments were designed and an institutional scaffolding was implemented that allows the municipality to function as a social landlord. It is the first and only municipality in Mexico that addresses the problem of uninhabited housing by generating affordable housing alternatives for the population in a situation of socio-economic vulnerability.
The phenomenon of dehabitation has increased and intensified in the municipality of Tlajomulco de Zúñiga. The 2020 National Population and Housing Census (INEGI,2020) identified 77,709 uninhabited homes, which correspond to 26% of the total private homes in the municipality, positioning itself as one of the demarcations with the largest number of uninhabited homes in the country. Housing in this state generates negative impacts, especially for those who continue to live in the housing complexes. A direct consequence is the devaluation of the assets of those who continue to pay mortgage loans since their home is less likely to be rented in addition to the fact that it has already lost its exchange value. At the same time, uninhabited housing generates negative impacts for those who continue to live in housing complexes, some of these include vandalism, the increase in crime and insecurity, the occupation of abandoned homes, the emergence of an informal rental market and the deficiency of public services. Faced with this situation, the Municipal Government of Tlajomulco de Zúñiga has sought to create institutional responses that allow it to contribute to combating the problem and generate affordable housing alternatives for the most vulnerable population. One of them is the Rent YourHouse Program.
Rent Your House, aims to show the social profitability generated by the implementation of municipal rental housing programs. With this paradigm shift, we could generate more affordable housing alternatives to serve the vulnerable population. It is necessary to propose new federal and state regulations and laws so that municipalities have tools and can design, implement and operate as social real estate, a figure that they consider and from our experience of the Program, can contribute a lot to society.
Currently, Tlajomulco de Zuniga is the first municipality in Mexico that seeks to take a more active role in housing and that is also promoting new mechanisms to deal with the accelerated growth of uninhabited housing, a phenomenon that has a presence throughout the national territory but that little has been addressed by other levels of government. Since April 2019, the municipal government has launched the RTC program inspired by social rental mechanisms that have already been implemented in the Basque Country and Barcelona which allows uninhabited homes to be rented directly to their owners. However, RTC has gone further since it has added a strong component of municipal rental subsidy to link uninhabited homes and low-income people in vulnerable situations that require housing solutions. The subsidy allows beneficiary households to pay a symbolic rental fee (17 USD per month) and promotes their integration with the community through their participation in community activity days (5 mandatory monthly hours). RTC has been positioned as an emancipatory housing solution for people whose income, situation of dependency or discrimination prevent them from finding housing in the formal rental market. What is also innovative is the important integral social accompaniment carried out by the municipal dependencies and that covers aspects such as employment and social co-responsibility and follow-up with the system of integral development of families (DIF) and the State Program of Attention to Women Victims of Domestic and Gender Violence. In addition, the program contemplates rehabilitation actions for those homes that have remained uninhabited for long periods of time and that require improvements to guarantee perfect living conditions. This makes it possible to renew not only the housing park but also the urban image of the areas where the program intervenes. The rehabilitation that is carried out can also be subsidized where 50% of the total cost is paid by the program and the other 50% is deducted from the first 24 rental instalments that the homeowner receives. ln this way, more owners who have abandoned homes in poor condition are encouraged to enrol in the program to continue benefiting more families.
RTC seeks to promote the co-responsibility of beneficiaries towards their community and environment. To do this, it is established that they participate on a mandatory basis, in various community activities for at least 5 hours per month. Such activities can be: Teaching classes in community development centres: beneficiaries who have academic solvency in any subject, will be able to teach classes that allow to promote the academic training of children and young people. Support in toy libraries: assistance in the organization and development of physical and mental stimulation activities for boys and girls Social service in LabASE (Strategic Social Architecture Laboratory): support and assistance in events and workshops focused on community building and promoting citizen participation. Social service in cultural and recreational activities: support and assistance in various activities that encourage the participation and free recreation of the community. "Chamba para Todos" program: participation in the maintenance and rehabilitation of municipal public spaces that include cleaning, pruning and painting
The financing of the program comes from resources of municipal origin budgeted annually. Although part of the program works at a non-repayable period, like some European social rental programs for vulnerable sectors, RTC recovers a small part of the investment through the monthly rent payments made by the beneficiary households.
Since April 2019 the Municipal Government of Tlajomulco de Zuniga has invested:
1. 5 million pesos (approximately 225,000 USD) for rent payments to homeowners.
2. 1 million pesos(approximately 50,000 USD) to rehabilitate real estate.
3. The annual budget of the program is 1 to 3 million pesos (135,000 USD) Since April 2019 the Municipal Government has received:
4. 725,000 pesos (approximately 43,000 USD) for rent payments made by the beneficiaries.
5. 700,000 pesos (approximately40,000 USD) for debt payments submitted by some of the owners in terms of property tax (43% of the homes in the program) and water services (33% of the homes in the program) Revenues represent 25% of the investment made by the program.
lt is expected to be able to count on other sources of income from foundations and international organizations that have an interest in supporting vulnerable households so that they can be inserted into society. Due to the faculties and attributions that foundations or organizations have, they cannot serve as endorsements or are in the possibility of renting homes. However, they can grant donations or financing so that RTC incorporates more housing into the program and that they can be destined for specific target populations. Currently. RTC is in negotiations with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) so that refugee households can be part of the program.
The initiative is unique in the Latin American context, being an implementation of the rental voucher schemes used in the US and the social rental programs used in Europe.
Rent your house is the first step to implementing a Public Social Real Estate focused on providing housing are natives to the population in a vulnerable situation. mainly through rental schemes.
mainly there was resistance in the legal field. Since it was difficult to conceive the responsibility and legal figure that the City Council has as a landlord and tenant of housing for the use of an individual. However, the design and implementation of operating rules as a social program gives the necessary legal certainty to be able to operate it.
DESIRED CHANGE OR OUTCOME
The initiative has achieved improved air quality and enhanced quality of life in the urban area. It led to a significant reduction in key pollutants such as particulate matter and nitrogen oxides, resulting in decreased rates of respiratory diseases and related hospitalizations. The implementation of cleaner technologies and stringent emission standards has spurred economic growth in green industries while fostering sustainable urban development. The positive change primarily manifests at the regional level, impacting millions of residents. Data indicates a 30% decrease in annual average pollution levels, demonstrating the initiative's substantial impact on public health and environmental sustainability.
The initiative collects and analyzes air quality data using a network of sensors deployed throughout the urban area. Environmental agencies and technology partners conduct the measurements. These measurements are utilized by public health institutions, urban planners, and policymakers to assess the effectiveness of pollution control measures and inform decision-making. The data is disaggregated to provide insights into disparities across age, gender, income groups, and vulnerable populations, allowing for targeted interventions. This approach ensures that the initiative's benefits are equitably distributed and tailored to address specific demographic and socio-economic considerations.
The innovation is tailored to address specific pollution hotspots and vulnerable communities within the urban area. It targets areas with high levels of air pollution, often located near industrial zones, major traffic intersections, and densely populated neighbourhoods. Additionally, a particular emphasis is placed on engaging marginalized communities, including low-income neighbourhoods and ethnic minorities, to ensure that the benefits of improved air quality and sustainable development are equitably distributed across the urban landscape.
Currently, approximately 1.5 million inhabitants are directly benefiting from the initiative's improved air quality and sustainable urban development measures. This includes a diverse demographic breakdown: 48% women, 30% youth and children, 12% elderly, and 5% people with disabilities. Over the next five years, it is projected that this impact will expand to encompass around 2.2 million residents, with similar demographic distributions, ensuring a broader reach and positive effects for a more inclusive and healthier urban community.
Although the program has municipal coverage, it seeks to rent homes located mainly in economic and popular subdivisions that have a percentage equal to or greater than 12.5% of uninhabited private homes, in accordance with the figures published in the 2020 National Housing Inventory of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography(INEGI)
The operation of the Renta tu Casa Program, benefited 390 households in vulnerable situations, with the support of 3,500 subsidies to pay the rent. 95 homes have been rented of which 14 needed total rehabilitation since they were previously in a physical state of abandonment
RELEVANCE TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions for all