A project for the construction of improved housing in the “Lost City of Tacubaya” is 98 percent complete and will be presented soon to its inhabitants with a new name: “Tacubaya Sur, City of Well-Being.” The initiative is one of the key housing projects of Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum.
The overcrowded and strongly underprivileged settlement of Tacubaya, made largely of sheet metal and cardboard, had been known for over a century as the “Lost City.” Now, it has officially been named "Tacubaya Sur" or "City of Well-Being", following the construction of 185 new apartments located between the streets of Héroes de la Intervención and Héroes Anónimos. The project featured an investment of MX$110 million (US$5.3 million) in non-repayable loans. Sheinbaum said that the name was changed to remove the disparaging perception people had of the area. “[People] created stories around the concept of the Lost City, calling it a hotspot of crime. Previous local administrations wanted to remove its inhabitants and gentrify the area,” she said.
During Sheinbaum’s visit to review the project’s progress, Rodrigo Chávez Contreras, Head, Mexico City Housing Institute (INVI), noted that “the value of each apartment under construction is MX$759,000 (US$36,800). Additionally, there is an added value in the price of land in the Miguel Hidalgo municipality. According to calculations, this brings each apartment’s commercial value to MX$2.5 million (US$121,300)."
The result of the MX$110 million (US$5.3 million) investment is the construction of 16 five-story buildings and common areas. The housing development features solar heaters, water-saving technology and rainwater harvesting systems, making it a sustainable building model. Each apartment is 51m2 and is equipped with a living room, a space to install a kitchen, a laundry room, one bathroom and two bedrooms.
During her electoral campaign, Sheinbaum committed to better living conditions in the Lost City. In October 2020, demolitions began. By December 2020, construction of the new housing units had started. The units are expected to be handed over by Sheinbaum on Feb. 28, 2022. While works were completed, the Lost City’s inhabitants received a MX$4,000 (US$194) government stipend to pay provisional rent until they could move back to their neighborhood.
Aside from the project in Tacubaya, INVI is working on building dignified housing for 250 families living in nine camping grounds located in Atlampa. The families will be relocated to a property, donated to Mexico City’s government by national oil company PEMEX. In addition, INVI is developing six housing projects for indigenous people in the city's downtown and upgrading 41 high-risk properties that were expropriated between 16 and 20 years ago but that had not received any resources toward their restoration.