On 14 January 2012, more than 200 homeless families have occupied a vacant plot owned by the State near the Barracks Military “Matamoros”, in Guatemala City. After seven months, August 15th, the Military Police and the National Civil Police have forcibly expelled to the occupants. The most of the occupies are young families, singles mothers and older people, that look for public owner’s plots, hopping to get the ownership titles and built in progressive way by themselves. Finish their houses will take around 15 or 20 years.
Housing demand in Guatemala City is one of the biggest in the Central American region. Where the urban growth rate is 3.4% (according the UNICEF) over the Latin American average (2.21% according the UN-Habitat). Housing need in Guatemala, according homes income is around 80% of units for poor people.
The formal supply excludes more than 60% of the population, they need al least two minimum wage ($500 monthly) to access into the formal market, and the most of them earn less than half of one minimum wage ($100 monthly). This situation open the opportunity for a big and growing informal market of land in the capital city and in the metropolitan region, the biggest one in Central America.