OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected labour market, social policy and migration studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.

English, French

Housing policy in Chile

A case study on two housing programmes for low-income households

Chile has made considerable progress in promoting access to affordable good-quality housing over the past two decades. The proportion of households that have no housing or that live in sub-standard housing has fallen from 23% in 1992 to 10% in 2011 (Ministerio Desarrollo Social 2013). Nevertheless, the incidence of poor quality housing and overcrowding is still high by international standards and residential segregation continues to be significant in Chile’s urban areas. Compared to other OECD countries, Chile is also characterised by small rental housing sector, which accounts for 18% of the housing stock; on average this tenure comprises 32% of the housing stock across OECD countries (Salvi Del Pero et al. 2015 forthcoming). After highlighting some of Chile’s key policy challenges in supporting access to quality and affordable housing (Chapter 1), this brief reviews two of Chile’s housing policy programmes. The first is a government subsidy to promote access to homeownership among low-income households; this programme – through various modifications – has been a central component of housing policy in Chile for over two decades. Chapter 2 discusses the characteristics of the programme, its objectives and the changes introduced to it in 2011; the further changes to the programme being discussed during the preparation of this brief – are instead not part of the study. The second policy reviewed in this report is a programme that introduced for the first time a subsidy to provide support for rental costs to young low and middle income households. Chapter 3 presents the main objectives and characteristics of this programme.


Keywords: Housing affordability, Chile, public housing, housing, housing supply
JEL: R31: Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics / Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location / Housing Supply and Markets; R21: Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics / Household Analysis / Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics: Housing Demand; I38: Health, Education, and Welfare / Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty / Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: Government Policy; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs; H24: Public Economics / Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue / Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
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