Taller Del Habitat – Bogota Colombia
Project Goal: Help people living in informal settlements in Bogota receive all the services required to build their homes or small businesses.
Client: Residents of the Bosa neighborhood in south eastern Bogota
Services Delivered: Design, program creation, partnerships formed, initial seed funding raised, organization launched.
In Colombia people build incrementally, purchase materials incrementally, and take their chances on legal support as they have enough money to hire someone to secure a title. Architecture for Humanity Bogotá, as the local chapter is known, first partnered with the national government seven years ago to help individual families improve their housing conditions.
In most informal housing situations people purchase materials as they had money, and only after acquiring enough would they begin building, section by section. After speaking with those building in this way, they discovered that people are willing to pay for materials, because you need things to make a home, and legal support to gain titles and deeds, but they were not willing to pay for design services. In order to afford legal fees without large lump sums of cash people often go to informal lenders to borrow money at a very high rate of interest to hire — with a large risk of fraud — legal support.
The chapter won a grant and competition by proposing a business model instead of a solution to a specific project. They used the funding to launch a pilot program to begin giving shape to the informal housing process and to give people equal access to quality materials and services. Taller Del Habitat is that business which provides wrap around services to families in South East Bogota.