This publication, on the nexus between urban planning and migration, highlights key findings of a workshop organized by our Cities and Migration Programme and the Inter-American Dialogue.

The housing laboratory Urban Planning and Housing in Guatemala: Links with Migration and Local Development Housing explored the role of urban and land use planning in the context of international and return migration. It further considered how these processes can be integrated into efforts underway to update Guatemala’s National Housing Policy in order to reduce the housing deficit and guarantee access to decent housing for the poor. 

Guatemala is amidst a rural-urban transition, with a high rate of internal migration. This generates an increasing demand for housing (housing deficit is increasing) and services as well as an urban governance and planning challenge. Remittances from more than 1.2 migrants in 2019 injected more than USD 10,500 million into the economy of Guatemala. The issue is how to channel these resources to housing finance.

Key messages emerging from the discussion include:
  • The need to address the relationship between migration, remittances, and housing within the framework of urban development.
  • Urban planning, land use planning, and land use control are key with respect to informal construction.
  • The need for local governments to help fill in information gaps.
  • The need for informal settlements land tenure regularization to be simple and speedy.
  • The scope of proof of income that credit cooperatives request for access to credit.
  • Overall, effectively mitigating credit risk is key for opening up access to credit for internal migrants, returned migrants, and families who receive remittances.

The LAV was co-organized by Cities Alliance, Urban Housing Practitioners Hub (UHPH); the Inter-American Dialogue; Propuesta Urbana; AVINA Foundation; CONAVI; Municipality of Amatitlán; the Association of Municipalities of the Naranjo River Basin (MANCUERNA); MICOOPE Cooperativa Salcajá, R.L. and GIZ Guatemala; within the framework of Cities Alliance Global Programme on Cities and Migration supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SECO).

Watch the recording of the event: