Housing and Reincorporation Strategies in post-Conflict Colombia

Mismatch of micro-level visions and macro-scale approaches

Daniela Sanjinés and Natalia Quiñónez

Published in Issue 4.2 // Updates

Keywords: Cooperative housing, mutual aid, post-conflict Colombia, peacebuilding


There is a consensus among scholars and policy makers that durable peace after violent conflicts is contingent upon addressing affected communities’ livelihood needs and, in particular, housing. Post-conflict reconstruction is challenging, but at the same time an opportunity to address pre-existing housing deficits. In this Update, we present the ongoing endeavours of a community of former combatants to establish a mutual aid housing cooperative in Colombia following the peace agreement of 2016 and their efforts to attain affordable and adequate housing in a context characterised by a fragile peace process and unfavourable housing policies. We focus here on the interlinkages between micro-level visions, aspirations and strategies of the communities involved in the establishment of housing cooperatives and macro-level political and institutional factors enabling or constraining their emergence in post-conflict Colombia. Attention is drawn to opportunities to contest existing housing systems and to advocate for other forms of housing.


Daniela Sanjinés is a PhD student at the ETH Wohnforum – Center for Research on Architecture, Society and the Built Environment of the ETH Zurich (Switzerland). Her research focuses on the role of housing cooperatives in the provision of affordable housing with a special focus on post-conflict Colombia.

Natalia Quiñónez is a PhD student at the National University of Colombia (UNAL). Her work and research deals with housing cooperative development in Latin America and their organisations’ struggles for adequate and affordable housing to be recognised as a human right, guaranteed by the State.

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