An increase in migrant population from wealthier countries is raising concerns of displacement of less affluent local populations in less wealthy countries. This is a worldwide phenomenon (Hayes and Zaban, 2020) and is especially prevalent in Cuenca, Ecuador, which has become a regional center of retirement migrants from North America and northern Europe. As Cuenca’s leadership embraces the global market, it should prepare for the disruptive changes to its economy by setting a precedent of being pro-housing and pro-income diversity, and it can do this best by facilitating the buildout of multiple housing types. Local land use restrictions should not exacerbate income inequality by banning the construction of affordable forms of housing. Inclusionary zoning requirements, like requiring developers to set aside a certain percentage of new units for affordable housing, can help to mitigate the impacts of housing unaffordability, but without sufficient stock of market-rate development, they will not generate significant results. Cuenca is well-positioned to grow its wealth by attracting higher income migrant residents. However, this growth must not come at the expense of its existing population and culture.
Parrish, Jordan B.
"Policy Solutions for Affordable Housing in Cuenca Ecuador,"
Pepperdine Policy Review: Vol. 14, Article 9.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/ppr/vol14/iss1/9