Housing policy-making in Africa: Ten common assumptions

Graham Tipple in Habitat International, Volume 49, October 2015.

Ten constant assumptions seem to rule policy-making on housing in Sub-Saharan Africa. They are:

1. Urban land and housing are expensive and more unaffordable than in the past.

2. Rents are too high and skyrocketing.

3. The solution to the housing problem is to build housing more cheaply.

4. Mortgages for more/poorer households are a large part of the solution.

5. Affordable housing is possible through formal sector private investments.

6. Establishment of a National Housing Trust Fund will help many households own their own home.

7. Housing affordability depends upon household income.

8. Land registration is the solution to non-bankable land.

9. New supply policy should be based on single household villas on serviced plots.

10. Every household should become an owner of housing.

From recent experience in seven countries in the region, this paper argues that these are generally untrue and work against the effective provision of appropriate housing affordable by the majority of households in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Available online via ScienceDirect [sub required].

Image via Jeff Attaway.


Publication Type Journal Article
Publisher Habitat International
Year 2015
Author(s) Graham Tipple
DOI 10.1016/j.habitatint.2015.06.003
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