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Understanding Housing Management by Low-income Homeowners: Technical, Organisational and Sociocultural Challenges in Chilean Condominium Housing

Written by: Vergara, Luz María; Gruis, Vincent; van der Flier, Kees
Published on: 16.08.2019

In the context of social vulnerability, the house is an important social and economic resource to cope with poverty. However, low-income homeowners face constraints to maintain their houses, negatively affecting the quality of their dwellings, buildings and neighbourhoods.

In the case of Chile, current studies have shown high levels of housing deterioration due to the lack of maintenance, but more knowledge is needed to understand the problems behind this poor management process.

One important challenge is to consider an integral approach, beyond the technical dimension, that includes organisational and sociocultural inputs. Therefore, this paper presents the results of an exploratory study about the nature of the management problems in the context of Chilean low-income condominiums.

The method considered semi-structured interviews with Chilean homeowners, researchers and professionals from the private sector, municipalities and central government. Main findings show the interdependencies between sociocultural, organisational and technical dimensions of the management problem; and the relevance of the sociocultural variables to perform technical maintenance activities. A better understanding of the nature and relationships among the management problems will provide better tools to improve current housing management models.