El Salvador: Urban and Productive Integrated Sustainable Settlements El Salvador

El Salvador suffers from a significant housing shortage, which, together with overcrowding and high levels of insecurity in many urban settlements of San Salvador, impacts not only on the quality of life of its inhabitants, but is also a source of violence and conflict and reduces the potential and opportunities for economic development. The Joint Programme was geared towards inclusive growth of El Salvador's urban areas and the generation of decent work within a sustainable environment. It focused on creating strategic partnerships that integrate the private and public sectors, civil society organizations and the urban poor population of San Salvador.

The programme's goals were: leveraging private sector involvement as a strategic development partner for affordable housing and livelihoods for the poor in urban settlements, and stimulating the creation of productive, secure and sustainable settlements that generate decent work.

Its main features were: creating incentives for entrepreneurship; increasing affordability of housing; upgrading the construction supply chain while reducing risk and vulnerability; and engaging the private sector in the development process.

The programme contributed to the achievement of the MDGs (poverty reduction, women's equality, environmental sustainability and international integration), through an inclusive innovative business model.

Main achievements included:

  • Creation of an alliance for social housing and corresponding funding opportunities.
  • Conclusion of a competition for urban design proposals for the "The Big Apple" project in Santa Tecla.
  • Support for implementation of the Law of Subdivisions, the most important rules governing legalization of land in the country's history and a first step to legalizing developments and land for 60,000 homes.
  • Implementation for the first time in the country of a system of guarantees for housing loans through the Salvadoran Guarantee Fund operated by the Development Bank of El Salvador.
  • Establishment of the School for Construction Microentrepreneurs, a technical training program at the University of El Salvador. Strengthening of linkages in the supply chain and launch of a national program to improve housing credit.
  • A Model of Productive Housing and Local Economic Development was implemented and capacity building was undertaken to equip local community and institutional actors, including public-private-social alliances and academia, in transforming slums.


Click for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in El Salvador (in Spanish).



The Joint Programme in action


Programme Dates 10 Dec 2009 - 30 Jun 2013
Net funded amount $5,199,879
Participating UN agencies UN-HABITAT, UNDP, UNIDO
National partners Viceministerio de Vivienda y Desarrollo; Alcaldía de Santa Tecla; Alcaldía de Apopa
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