LN – From a ruined room to a bright three room


Maximiliano, Lorena and their three children lived in a tenancy in overcrowded conditions and managed to move thanks to a supervised rental project Credit: Santiago Cichero

For three days, the life of Lorena Ortiz (39 years old) and her family changed completely. They went from living crammed in a ruined room of a tenant to inhabiting a three-room apartment, more spacious, bright and without humidity, in La Boca.

Thanks to the system of supervised rentals of the NGO Habitat for Humanity Argentina (HPHA), Lorena; his partner, Maximiliano Lampugano (29), and his three children – one who has common, Francesco (2), and two, Nahuel (18) and Valentina (12), from a previous marriage -, were able to access a formal rental and Get out of the overcrowded situation they were in.

Of the different ways of measuring this problem, the most graphic is the survey of the number of people per habitable room:
three or more indicate overcrowding. According to the latest statistical document of the Barometer of the Social Debt of the Child that elaborates the Observatory of the Argentine Social Debt of the UCA, 23.4% of the children and adolescents of up to 17 years live in conditions of overcrowding in the urban regions of Argentina. In 2015 it had been 18.9%. The figure climbs to 30% in the province of Buenos Aires.

The room in which they lived was divided with furniture, had critical humidity product of multiple water leaks, a hole in the floor, collapsed walls and a bathroom that practically did not work. Those bad conditions had affected his health. “Lorena and the boys have asthma, and although they are in treatment, that environment did not help them,” says Maximiliano, adding that another of the main problems was “lack of intimacy.”

Three out of 10 boys live in overcrowded conditions; With this change that they achieved thanks to Habitat for Humanity, Maximiliano and Lorena will be able to give their family a healthier space
Three out of 10 boys live in overcrowded conditions; With this change that they achieved thanks to Habitat for Humanity, Maximiliano and Lorena will be able to give their family a healthier space Credit: Santiago Cichero

Lorena and Maximiliano have formal jobs, she as a porter's assistant for the city government and he as an administrative officer for a year. However, having no guarantees, they had not been able to move. “A formal urban rental, even if you can afford it, is impossible for many of these families without support,” explains HPA Daiana Laguna.

Problems to study and develop, and greater exposure to situations of stress and violence are some of the serious consequences of growing in an inadequate space In addition, given the close relationship between overcrowding and poor building conditions (poor ventilation, humidity, water seepage, etc.), children are exposed to more diseases, which results in an increase in school absenteeism.

In addition to the required documentation issues, he explains that there is a cultural issue. The social worker points out that poverty conditions are often inherited from generation to generation, “so it is important to break that cycle and provide opportunities for overcoming.” Therefore, it details that the work of this organization is “to promote the empowerment and development of one's own abilities to access adequate housing.”

The Estela de Esperanzas building project recovered an uninhabited space to transform it into eight departments. The family of Lorena and Maximiliano moved to one of them. “It is a replicable model that we hope will be extended,” says Laguna. The initiative began in 2012, and 14 families have passed. They stay the duration of the contract of four years or until they manage to accommodate and take another step, and leave the place to the next. Now Lorena and Maximiliano have the opportunity to give their children a better place.

More information and how to help

Habitat for Humanity:


. (tagsToTranslate) From a ruined room to a bright three rooms – LA NACION

Publicado en el diario La Nación