Research problem In the last few years the link between gender and development has become a major element of the public debate at the national and international level (UNDP, UN-Habitat, WB, CIDA, SIDA). Gender urban planning considers the differential roles of women and men in a neighborhood, a City and/or a given territory. This planning approach has the explicit goal to ensure that every citizen, irrespective of its gender, has the same set of opportunities and the same level of control over the resources and services provided by the urban development. Hence, formal urban planning must be engendering, (i.e., going beyond the traditional neutral and gender blinded schemes and frameworks for policy and decision making). In fact, modern urban planning must consider not only the social and economic dimensions of the city dwellings, but also their cultural and gender differences as the appropriate way to ensure efficiency and equity of policies and interventions. Yet, in most developing countries social housing policies do not consider gender as a focal variable. This situation calls for more research in order to better understand the difficulties, as well as the enabling mechanisms to integrate the gender perspective in the formal urban planning process. By doing so, full urban citizenship for the most vulnerable women could be guaranteed. Cultural/urban/architectural context in which study is conducted. We took Chile as the case study because of its potential of transferability for the Latin-American context. First, the social transformation that took place in the last three decades and, second, the innovativeness of the social housing policy applied during the 1990s and based on the so called enabling approach are seen as a model for the region (Rojas, 2001). Theoretical framework/relevant literature. This research is aligned with and inspired by Moser’s framework for gender mainstreaming (Moser, 1993). This framework is based on three main concepts 1) women’s reproductive, productive and community gender roles 2) practical and strategic gender needs and 3) WID/GAD categories for policy approaches (Chant et Gutmann, 2000; Moser, 1993; 2002; Moser et al., 1999). Moser framework intends to provide a solid base for policy intervention in order to balance the women’s triple role and to empower them to change their subordinate position. Latin-American policies in general and Chilean social housing policy in particular, do not consider the asymmetries between women and men (Mac Donald, 1992; Saborido, 1996). This lack of intervention from the State not only affects the most vulnerable of society, but also avoids enabling social policies to be as performant and efficient in fighting inequalities, poverty reduction and housing deficit as they could be. Research questions, objectives and/or hypotheses. The aim of our research is to focus on the importance of women specific issues related to the household survival strategies and difficulties imposed by a gender-blind urban planning and policy making process. The goal of our general question is to understand how and to what extent government intervention influences, builds, modifies and legitimizes gender relations in urban settings. Our specific interest is to study the most recent Chilean social housing policy while documenting and nuancing how and to which degree a social housing policy based on a particular gender ideology impacts on living conditions of poor women. Research strategy/methodology developed for tackling research. Our research strategy is a case study (Chile). Data was collected between 1999-2000. Three methods were used: semi-structured face-to-face interviews with key informants (n=20), semi-structured face-to-face interviews with women from a marginal neighbourhood (La Pintana) having applied to a social housing program (n=13) and a focus group addressed to men in the same situation (n=10). Data was recorded, transcribed and managed with NUD*IST software package. State of development of thesis: research proposal (theoretical framework, literature review, hypothesis), data collection,The theoretical framework, literature review, research questions (hypothesis), and data collection are all completed. Analysis is in progress. Findings (preliminary or advanced, if available)Not yet available (they will be ready for the workshop). Conclusion (if available)Not yet available (they will be ready for the workshop). Avenues for research findings applications (if relevant)To point out the added-value of gender mainstreaming into formal planning and decision-making for social housing policy in the context of developing countries.