Affordable Housing Provision in Ehiopia: Viable Alternative for Rapid and Large-scale Delivery

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Submission Summary
Most cities in developing countries are growing in an unprecedented manner creating pressure on local government capacity in dealing with the provision of basic services. The city of Hawassa in Ethiopia is one such example. The city has grown rapidly in recent years resulting in an immense strain in the capacity of the local government in delivering housing, sanitation, and other basic infrastructures. Especially, the construction of the Hawassa industrial parks has attracted many people from different parts of the country, increasing the need for housing. The local government is faced with renewing the deteriorated inner part of the city and providing affordable housing for the growing population. However, this task is challenged by the limited capacity of the local government. This research paper asks how local governments, such as Hawassa, deliver affordable housing using scarce land and financial resources sustainably? Conducting research while the world is going through a global pandemic requires a lot of courage and determination. Most importantly it requires a smart move in choosing a case where ample data is available. This paper secured a collaboration with the UN-Habitat Hawassa project office to work on their ongoing project. Therefore, most of the primary data are obtained from this collaboration. Other additional information was gathered from interviewing professionals using technological tools. The paper uses a rapid urbanism framework, where affordability is analyzed as a function of housing supply, housing demand, finance for housing, and governance. It believes affordable housing provision can only be achieved if we deal with each of these elements carefully and tailor them toward the needs of the targeted population. To solidify this point and provide an alternative approach to the urban renewal project planned at the center of the city, the paper employed designing settlement simulation. The simulation focuses on efficient management of land and the principle of cross-subsidy. Moreover, it is designed based on social, cultural, and economic realities seen on the ground. Based on detailed assessment, this research paper has found out that - Incremental housing is an important housing strategy to provide affordable housing in a rapid and large-scale manner. It also goes well with the irregular income of the locals. - Affordability can only be achieved by carefully analyzing and providing solutions for problems in housing supply, demand, finance, and governance. Trying to solve one part of the puzzle won't bring real change. - On the supply side: land constitutes a large chunk of housing cost. Therefore, its management determines the affordability of any affordable housing provision program. Efficient management of land must not be left for tomorrow. - Demand-side: assessment of payment capacity of households is important before planning affordable housing provision. Once the payment capacity is identified, enhancement mechanisms should be put in place. - Finance for housing: low-income households are least served by the formal financial market. Most of them use informal means of financing. Although the role of microfinance is increasing, their accessibility is limited due to their financial capacity. Therefore, it is important to implement an innovative financial mechanism to reach the unserved segment of the population. - Governance: Unrealistic or uncontextualized policies, standards, rules, and regulations hinder affordable housing provision - Efficiently managing land with the aim of achieving Cross subsidy can encourage the involvement of the private sector. Hawassa municipality can utilize this research paper to conduct the ongoing and planned housing provision programs. If implemented with the right governance framework and dedication, it has the potential to assist the local government in its quest to meet the housing need of its citizens.
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1: Inclusiveness and empowerment. Al-Majlis: planning with and for communities
Masters Student
Technical University of Berlin

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