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Addressing Urban Poverty in Africa in the Post-2015 Period. Perspectives for Adequate and Sustainable Housing

Innocent CHIRISA1, Abraham Rajab MATAMANDA2
1 University of Zimbabwe, Department of Rural and Urban Planning, Harare, ZIMBABWE
2 University of Zimbabwe, Centre for Applied Social Sciences (CASS), Harare, ZIMBABWE
Pages: 79-87

Abstract. The aim of this paper is to propose an agenda and some guidelines for urban local governments in Africa to design policies and strategies towards achieving sustainable housing in the post-2015 period. We argue that the effective methodology for achieving sustainable housing in Africa lies in building an effective housing stock that is affordable for all. We employed and reviewed extensive literature, and we then applied textual and content analysis to construct this study. We note that Africa faces deficit and poor quality housing, where the poor struggle and informal settlements are numerous. Various approaches are used to address the housing issue but most of them are not successful. In some countries, self-help housing is the major mode of delivery, which faces a number of obstacles including funding, appropriate location, and even failure to meet the town planning requirements. An example of best practice in housing delivery can be the housing provision programme in South Africa from 1994 under the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP). Smart partnerships where local authorities provide land and the private sector provides funding are critical. Nevertheless, strategies have to be crafted so as to accommodate different groups within the low-income category. The poor are not a homogenous group, since there are some who ‘pretend’ to be poor and tend to offset the deserving members from different schemes of funding assistance. Therefore, a systemic approach is required to provide a sustainable concoction to treat the housing poverty malady in the region.

K e y w o r d s:  urban poverty, urbanisation, Africa, housing challenges, adequate and sustainable housing