Spatial patterns of social mobility perception derived from access to social housing in a Mexican border city


  • Erick Sánchez Flores
  • Elvira Maycotte Pansza
  • Javier Chávez



Homeownership has become a crucial element in constructing and confirming social position in western societies. Housing can be an effective social mobility strategy. In the societies of developing countries, however, the potentially positive effects of homeownership might be hindered by financial conditions and quality of housing to which large population sectors can have access. Taking into account the main implications of housing access for social welfare and the unwanted effects produced by national housing policy in Mexico, due to the distortions of the housing and land markets, is necessary to assess if such a policy has produced the desired positive effects in terms of social mobility and if those are being perceived so by the beneficiary population. Thus, the objective of this study is to assess the perception of social mobility derived from the access to social housing in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua from 2002 to 2010. For this purpose, we derive and represent spatially three indices of households social mobility perception related to dwelling quality, complex location and urban environment, and housing ownership advantages of their current housing in comparison with their previous or parents´ homes. In general, we found that households have a perception of social descent derived from the quality of their new dwelling units; an even more pronounced perception of social descent with respect to the complex location and urban environment conditions; and a regular perception of social ascent with regards to the housing ownership advantages. These results indicate that the supposedly positive social effects of the national housing policy in Ciudad Juárez have not been fully deployed or at least perceived by the intended beneficiaries. This requires a review of the basic definitions of the policy and to emphasize the social character of housing provision in order to promote the conditions for ascending social mobility.