73% of the houses in Bogota are vulnerable to earthquakes. According to the Seismic Risk Modeling for Bogota Buildings in 2017, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake would cause severe damage to more than 16,000 blocks, and moderate damage to around 22,000 additional blocks, causing an estimated 68 trillion Colombian Pesos in losses, approximately $20 Billion US Dollars. The goal of Bogota’s administration is to recognize and improve the self-built neighborhoods, which includes encouraging the growth of housing offered within these communities.
The Government of Bogotá is mitigating these risks and advancing greater resilience through the Caja de la Vivienda Popular (CVP), an office whose goal is to transform and improve housing, habitat and living conditions. CVP has initiated the structure, design, and implementation of Plan Terrazas Distrital, a program that recognizes, improves, and expands informal housing in the city of Bogotá. With this initiative, through the CVP, families who built their homes informally are being recognized for the first time, which means that their building is legalized with a retroactive construction permit called an Act of Recognition, supporting the improvement of their houses with technical and financial assistance.
The CVP has begun construction on the first 60 houses in partnership with Build Change’s technical support. Plan Terrazas is one of the most important housing projects that have been implemented and financed in Latin America, with transformational potential for resilient housing against multiple hazards and to build overall resilience.