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close this bookNational Experiences with Shelter Delivery for the Poorest Groups (HABITAT, 1994, 140 p.)
close this folderII. HOUSING THE POOR
View the documentA. The case-study countries
View the documentB. National shelter policies
View the documentC. Housing needs
View the documentD. Shelter delivery
View the documentE. Actors and programmes
View the documentF. Financing shelter

E. Actors and programmes

1. Mexico

Although self-help shelter programmes started in Mexico in the 1960s, their importance was not evident until the late 1970s, and then mainly through the sites-and-service projects developed by Fondo Nacional de Habitaciones Populares (FONHAPO), and directed at the needs of the low-income groups by supporting societies and cooperatives. There are three sources of supply of housing for the poor and low-income group - the public, private business and household sectors. Private business may belong both to the formal (typically large-scale construction firms) and the informal (small unregistered enterprises, but usually independent craftspeople) sectors. Most low-cost urban housing is made by the households themselves, with the assistance of craftspeople for certain more difficult construction tasks. The Government assists the middle- and lower-income groups - as well as the poor with housing - through FONHAPO (see, for example, box 30). It provides technical and financial assistance to its target group which is almost 80 per cent of the country's population (see also section II.F.1). FONHAPO works through legally constituted organizations. Every family is, however, responsible for its loans directly to the institution.

Box 29. PROFOPEC (Programa de Fraccionamiento Popular de Ecatepec): a project involving coordination at the highest level

The project involved 8100 families from different parts of Mexico City. In 1987 poor families started to squat on private land at the outskirts of the city, in an area called Zona V de Ecatepec. Other groups soon joined the illegal occupation. The number passed 15,000 families. Families from nearby areas lacking basic amenities also settled there. The area is of bad quality, being the floor of a dried-out lake. The challenge of the project was to reconcile the low quality and limited quantity of land with the massive demand.

Of the squatters, 53 per cent had an income below 1.5 minimum wages, and a further 36 per cent between 1.5 and 2.4 minimum wages. Representatives of the squatters negotiated with SEDUE and the Government. The Government expropriated a nearby plot of almost 156 ha. and handed it over to PROFOPEC. The president of PROFOPEC was the Governor of the State of Mexico and board members were the Secretary of SEDUE and the President of the Municipality of Ecatepec. Their ability to “cut corners” resolved the complex legal aspects. Different NGOs assisted later in various ways of securing services and shelter provision.

The beneficiaries paid only between 5 per cent and 10 per cent of the cost as down-payment according to house type. In the “core house” programme, the beneficiaries had to pay 38 per cent of the family head's income in monthly payment. The figure in the upgrading programme was 25 per cent. These arrangements were agreed upon by the beneficiaries' organizations according to the squatters' economic capabilities and the prices of the different shelter types. FONHAPO assisted these organizations in obtaining the down-payments by making each family pay a weekly sum to accounts political parties had opened for them. The rivalry of the political parties was reflected also on this issue of shelter provision for the poor. Each week the parties published figures for what they had managed to induce the squatters to pay.

The project legalized the tenancy of the plot holders and provided and improved drainage and water supply. PROFOPEC also made 12 wells. The number of “core houses” constructed was 6227. The houses were either of 18 m2 or 36 m2. The walls were of cement and the roof of prefabricated slabs. This project responded to the ideas of the beneficiaries, and was in accordance with the popular housing ideal in Mexico of a private one-family shelter.

Box 30. El Arenal: a housing project for single mothers and young couples

This project in Mexico City covers about 1000 families from the inner city. The background of the project was the awareness of overcrowding revealed by the 1985 earthquakes. After the earthquakes the families lived in tents and then in emergency housing units. These units were blocking traffic and hampering trade. The families were therefore resettled near the international airport on land bought by the Government. The Reconstruction Programme of Popular Housing organized and developed the area. The dwellings were 24 m2 each. The construction and materials of the dwellings were simple and cheap. In 1987 the inhabitants decided to upgrade their shelter with more solid materials. There were water taps in the streets and footpaths.

The neighbours were at first organized in groups according to footpaths. Later a larger association was formed but not legally registered. 700 families joined. The association managed to obtain several special arrangements with FONHAPO and other government institutions. The loans from FONHAPO were granted to individuals but administered collectively by the neighbourhood organizations. The monthly payments were fixed at 32 per cent of the income of each family. The mortgage was extended to 13 years. The land was used as collateral for the loans. Building materials were obtained at low prices through a programme carried out by the Secretaria de Desarrollo Urbano y Ecologia (SEDUE), in collaboration with private enterprises.

Box 31. Renovaciabitacional Popular (RHP): a rehabilitation programme

The official number of families rendered homeless by the earthquake in Mexico City in 1985 is 100,000. Most of the houses destroyed were old rented tenements with rents frozen for a long time. The maintenance of the buildings was bad, and their resistance to the earthquake thus relatively low.

The people who lost their accommodation were able to organize themselves and put pressure on the Government for action. The city authorities expropriated about 1000 properties in the affected areas. These properties became the basis of the RHP programme. The beneficiaries were only the tenants of expropriated properties. The affordability of the beneficiaries was taken into account. Only in special cases were extra subsidies granted. Building norms, in particular density norms, were flexible in order to accommodate the original amount of residents. The programme was administered plot by plot, thus securing the community feeling of the population. Interestingly, the RHP programme was very different from the rest of the emergency housing construction. The positive experiences with the RHP programme made it a model for subsequent housing projects, such as Casa Propia (see box 32).

Box 32. Casa Propia: tenants and owners

The beneficiaries of this project in Mexico City are 10,000 families living in flats and rooms in apartment buildings. They rent their accommodation. The rents were not allowed to rise. These two facts led to lack of maintenance of the buildings. This lowered the buildings' resistance to earthquakes. The buildings were not included in the official reconstruction programme after the 1985 earthquakes.

The project assists the rehabilitation of the flats. To be eligible for support, the tenants must have a legal document proving the tenancy, and a unit must not exceed 69.7 m2. Furthermore, the tenants must not earn more than 2.5 minimum wages. The down-payment is 10 per cent of the total cost, the repayment period is seven years and the monthly payment is 10 per cent of a beneficiary's income. The project has shown that improvements and housing growth are possible in inner-city areas.

The urban renewal project in inner Mexico City developed after the 1985 earthquakes was successful due to political and financial support. Popular participation was important in this project, and it can be a model for socially-oriented shelter delivery for the urban lower-income group.

The National Solidarity Programme in Mexico consists of a limited support to the improvement of housing through the provision of cheap building materials to the poor and lower-income group (see box 29).

The private-sector contractors show no interest in housing provision for the poor because of the low profitability and high risk of default in payments. CBOs have only appeared recently in Mexican urban shelter delivery. The 1985 earthquakes in Mexico City led to the formation and later popularization of CBOs in inner-city renewal (see boxes 31 and 32). Cooperative housing is not found among the poor (see box 33. In sum, most dwellings are built by the people themselves with assistance from relatives and neighbours.

The NGOs in Mexico have provided valuable assistance regarding shelter to the poor. This has been possible because NGOs can effectively make the linkage between public institutions' regulations and resources and people's social needs. They can supply technical know-how and train local-level leaders and people generally. They do not, however, help with financial resources for house-building.

2. Indonesia

The private sector in Indonesia, both large- and small-scale, does not cater to the poor's shelter needs. It is the Government through the Perum-Perumnas that assists the poor. Yet, it is able to address the needs of only a percentage of the poor. In fact, less than 15 per cent of urban housing is made by formal-sector actors. The major part of the shelter provided, stems from the people themselves, sometimes with the assistance of CBOs and NGOs. This, unfortunately, implies that the security of land tenure is very low, which again results in a low motivation for house improvement.

Box 33. Calpulli del Valle

The cooperative in Calpulli del Valle in Mexico City was joined by 900 families from various parts of the city. Nearly half of the families (46 per cent) earn less than 1.5 minimum wages, and a further 30 per cent earn between 1.5 and 2 minimum wages. The NGO COPEVI (Centro Operacional de Vivienda y Poblamiento) gave technical and legal advice to the cooperative, which then acquired an area of 52 ha in Coalcalco. According to land use plans, 19 ha of this land was suitable for housing. The local authority of Coalcalco decided that no funds were available for developing of the land. FONHAPO, however, does not require public development of lands before providing loans. COPEVI thus worked out an alternative way of developing the land. The solution included wells and tanks for drainage. After six years of negotiations and paperwork with federal, state and municipality authorities the cooperative obtained permission to make the wells.

The construction of the wells was paid by the cooperative together with an NGO called FUSCOVI (Fomento Solidario de la Vivienda). FONHAPO then granted a loan for the land acquisition. The permit for the tanks for drainage is however not yet given by the authorities. They require a secondary treatment for the liquid waste. Such a treatment facility is unaffordable for the cooperative. No core houses have thus been constructed so far.

In Indonesia, beneficiaries are not permitted to use their plot in regulated areas for other than residence (UNCHS, 1991c). For the poor, such a rule (if enforced) would keep many from taking advantage of shelter projects.

An important factor of enabling shelter provision among the poor, besides mutual aid in building, is “arisan”, a collective lottery for housing purposes. Once a week the members of an arisan pay money or the equivalent in rice to, usually, a woman coordinator. A weekly draw decides which person will receive that week's collection. The system is quite widespread among the poor in urban areas also (see box 41).

The Community Based Low-cost Housing programme is created to mobilize communities to improve their shelter and the environment. Support is also given to stimulate social and economic activities. The target group of the programme is the people evicted from squatter areas. The programme particularly helps in forming CBOs, and in facilitating these organizations' access to plots and credit under the programmes of Perum-Perumnas. The programme is limited to two smaller areas in Jakarta and Bandung (see boxes 34 and 35).

Box 34. Tamansari: private rental housing

The location of this low-rise rental housing in Bandung is strategic. It is near to transport, public offices, educational facilities and markets. In 1990, the Tamansari area was chosen by municipal authorities in collaboration with the Institute of Human Settlements of the Ministry of Public Works to be given “rental house improvement credit.” The project was carried out together with an existing CBO. Every household could obtain the equivalent of Rp. 550,000 over a period of three years - without interest - in building materials. The purpose was to construct additional rooms to ordinary families' dwelling. The room(s) should then be let to poor people. A profile of the tenants shows that they are street vendors, casual workers, low-level government employees and students. The occupation density of the houses is very high. The houses are of low quality. The rental tariffs are from Rp. 16,500 to Rp. 30,000 per month ($US 8-15). The monthly incomes of the tenants vary from Rp. 60,000 to Rp. 150,000, i.e., they are classified as poor or lower-income households.

Cooperative housing has been very limited in Indonesia. Government assistance has popularized cooperative practices to some degree such as the workers' cooperatives. Yet, these cooperatives do not cover the poor, but only the lower-income group.

The KIP in Indonesia has been successful in improving the infrastructure and basic services in several urban slum areas. It may be sensible to have such a programme which does not include plot regulation and shelter construction. This is so because the severe complexity in giving squatters a legal title to the land they occupy would indefinitely postpone an upgrading of the physical and social infrastructure. If such land development was carried out by employing the poor in the community with labour-intensive methods, they would gain both by some temporary income and an improved environment. In addition, there would be a mobilizing effect regarding organization and mutual aid. The impact may also be a stimulation of individual shelter repair and extension.

Box 35. Bina Karya: a housing foundation

The Bina Karya housing foundation, an NGO in Bandung, aims at providing houses for fired textile workers. The former workers rented their accommodation. Due to their irregular and low incomes, the 120 people were not entitled to credit from BTN. With money given by the factory and with the assistance of the foundation the workers started a shelter project. Bina Karya started as a consumer cooperative. With the help of LPSM (a community self-help institute) it soon developed into a housing cooperative. Land was acquired at the fringe of Bandung, and infrastructure and shelter made gradually according to the financial and work ability of the residents. The dwelling units are 42 m2, on a plot of 96 m2. Space has been made available for sport facilities, a mosque and a multipurpose community building. Financial support has been received from a foreign NGO.

A major lesson from this experience is that, in order to attract the attention of an NGO, it is essential for community shelter projects to collaborate with a national institute or organization.

KIP's improvement of infrastructure in Jakarta resulted in plot holders increasing their spending on their dwellings. It also led, as could be expected, to rising land prices and higher rentals. This, unfortunately, has had a negative effect for the poor, many of whom are renting their dwellings. No positive change was reported in the residents' incomes (Taylor, 1987). The infrastructure and services in slum areas are, however, now deteriorating. KIP cannot keep pace with the growing slum populations. The Urban Renewal Project, with flat housing, is thus being implemented in the slums. Yet, the poor can seldom afford flats, and they do prefer low-rise housing. Still, the so-called Klender flat housing is a solution favoured by the Government to overcome the shelter problem of the poor (see boxes 36 and 37).

3. India

The Central Government in India has played a major role in providing shelter and basic services to the urban poor, although in the Indian federal system the states have the responsibility of implementing housing and urban policies.

Box 36. Flat housing in Jakarta: Kebon Kacang

A total of eight four-floor buildings with 600 dwelling units was built. Among these units, 368 were without separate bedrooms. The city government, together with the Perum-Perumnas, has targeted this project at poor street vendors and hawkers. There is a cross-subsidy involved, as some of the units are offered at a higher price. A hire-purchase project is operating for those who can afford it ($US 30-35 monthly instalment over 20 years). There are several similar flat housing projects in Jakarta.

Box 37. Klender flat housing

This is the largest flat housing project in Jakarta, situated in Jatinegara. It is surrounded by kampungs. The aims of the project are to maximize land use, maintain a healthy environment with open green belts, and be affordable to the poor and lower-income group. Perum-Perumnas assists in securing loans for the families from BTN. Evidence shows that only the lower-income group can meet the expenses, although these are kept low. The expenses are higher than rented accommodation in the neighbouring kampungs.

The Ministry of Urban Development is the apex policy-making body for urban development, including housing activities. It overviews the state-level programmes, lays down policy perspectives and builds up the data systems for the country, besides launching projects for the benefit of certain targeted groups.

Public sector housing is basically the responsibility of the state governments. The housing boards are the implementing bodies. In Maharashtra there is, in addition, the City Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) which has housing as one of its major activities. A fixed percentage of CIDCO's housing is set aside for low-income groups. The cities' development authorities take the major responsibility for designing and executing public housing programmes.

The role of the primary cooperative societies in providing housing has been increasing over the years, particularly in the large cities. Cooperatives get preferential treatment in obtaining land and finance from public-sector agencies. Due to the scarcity of land and capital, it has become difficult to acquire land and finance through individual efforts. Now cooperatives can also be found in the slum areas of the largest cities.

The large-scale private contractors mostly cater to the higher income groups. Small-scale contractors operate as individuals or firms. They take the responsibility of designing a house and getting the plan approved by the local authorities. A license is not required to operate in the low-income construction market. The absence of proper registration, accountability through formal contracts and a legal system for resolving conflicts speedily have got in the way of a healthy growth of a small contracting system. Still, the small contractors are essential, because they allow for incremental house building. Normally, poor households must build their house over an extended period of time.

The involvement of NGOs in the shelter sector has been of varying intensity. At the national level, there are few NGOs working on shelter issues whose objective is to benefit the poor. The National Campaign for Housing Rights is an exception. This NGO seeks the recognition of housing as a basic human right. At the grass-roots level, there are many NGOs in India facilitating upgrading of slums, mobilizing and organizing the poor for savings, credit and common action in general.

The Environment Improvement of Urban Slums (EIUS) programme has been in operation for a long time in India. At present, EIUS is a major programme of the Central Government designed only for the physical improvement of slums. The goals are to provide a water tap for every 150 people; to open drains for the outflow of waste-water; to build a community bath for every 50 people; to erect a lavatory seat for every 50 people; to widen and pave existing lanes; and to put up poles for street lighting 30 metres apart. The per capita expenditure under the programme was raised in 1985 to Rs. 300. In the Seventh Five Year Plan, slums in which two thirds of the families earned less than Rs. 250 per month, were selected for improvements. Slums on private land are also, in some cases, included in the programme. Security of tenure for the plots is given to the slum dwellers (on public lands only) parallel with the basic infrastructure improvements. The residents are then responsible for maintaining the assets provided to them. Under the Slum Clearance and improvement Programme, slum dwellers were earlier provided with an alternative plot at sites away from the existing slums. The problems were, however, lack of sufficient government funds and public land. Upgrading was then favoured under the so-called Minimum Needs Programme launched in 1972 and later transferred to the states. The programme consisted of physical improvements of the slums, i.e., water taps, drains, latrines, footpaths and sometimes also street lighting. The expenditure per inhabitant in this programme has unfortunately been low throughout.

Not only is a large part of the urban population in India deprived of acceptable housing, an equally large part has remained without access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities. Many urban development programmes were therefore designed in the 1980s with the provision of water supply and sanitation as their major components. The term “shelter” implying a plot of land with a temporary roof and certain basic services such as water supply and sanitation was coined during that period. It was, however, recognized that a poor country such as India cannot, even under the best of circumstances, afford the provision of shelter and basic services to its vast majority of poor people, for the time being at least.

UNICEF has assisted in urban slum environment betterment. Three UNICEF-assisted programmes were in 1985 brought under a single programme called the Urban Basic Services. The programme works through CBOs in the slums, and seeks to improve health and nutrition; water supply and sanitation; education of children and training of community volunteers; and community participation in local associations. The focus of the programme is on women and children. Again the maintenance of the facilities provided is entirely left to the users. The Central Government, state authorities and UNICEF finance the programme on a 20:40:40 ratio. The programme has a community approach, involving the participation of the beneficiaries.

The Urban Community Development Programme (UCD) has the objective of involving municipalities in the provision of basic facilities in urban slums. The Programme's use of community participation in maintenance reduces public expenditures, so freeing funds for further improvements elsewhere. At present, the Central Government and UNICEF are assisting the Programme only marginally. Municipalities are thus getting funds for UCD from their own resources and through the state governments and foreign agencies.

Low-cost housing is also a component under several other urban community development projects. A plot title is given to the beneficiaries, a layout-plan of a neighbourhood is made, and dwellings constructed. Yet, only poor squatters on government land can be assisted, due to the need for tenure rights. The Manila Milan Women's Cooperative in India has shown that poor households can save. The amounts saved, however, are far from the required sum to acquire land and build a house. The savings can be used as bridge finance during emergencies and for small shelter repairs only. Governments should encourage and support the establishment of local so-called barefoot banks by NGOs and CBOs.

A low-cost sanitation programme, with technical cooperation from UNDP, is involved in erecting simple latrines. This programme has been adopted in many states. At present, the programme focuses on eliminating manual scavenging. States and local authorities also undertake projects on their own, providing shelter, water supply and sanitation facilities to the poor through upgrading and sites-and-services (see box 38). Besides Indian finance, the World Bank is an important source of funds at these levels.

In sites-and-services projects construction costs may be partially provided for (or not at all). The combination of efforts by the people, various voluntary organizations and government institutions is the hallmark of these projects. Many families, however, cannot afford to build a proper dwelling. They are forced to live in makeshift arrangements on their plots for a long time, or to sell their plot.

Programmes, such as the Slum Improvement Programme (SIP) and the Slum Upgradation Programme (SUP), are specifically directed at the poor. These programmes are supported by the World Bank. One aspect of the programmes is to relate the level of services and standard of dwellings to the affordability of the beneficiaries. This is, however, in many cases a sufficient input to raise the value of the land, thereby forcing a displacement of the original residents. The SIP involves merely physical improvement with a standard package of basic amenities. Cost recovery from the beneficiaries is now an essential part of these projects. Since the slums must be compatible with the official land-use restrictions, about half the slums in the big cities are disqualified for upgrading. In the SUP, plot titles are given to individual families. In some cases land is also leased to communities. A home improvement loan may also be obtained under this programme. Unlike the SIP, there are no direct subsidies under SUP.

Box 38. Sulabh Shauchalayas in Delhi

This programme aims to convert existing bucket latrines into two-pit water-sealed pour-flush public latrines: to construct baths and urinals on a pay-and-use basis; to utilize human excreta to generate bio-gas; and to rehabilitate scavengers by (raining them in various vocations. The programme will maintain the community latrines and baths for a 30-year period. The facilities are serviced around the clock The users pay Rs 0.50 for use. Women, the handicapped and the destitute have free access. The authorities only contribute the water supply and electricity. The maintenance of the facilities in poor areas is paid by a cross-subsidy from the money collected from the use of similar facilities in better-off areas. This programme shows that an NGO can provide an essential basic service with minimal government expenditure. Moreover it is evident that the poor are prepared to pay for a service. The continued training of masons and plumbers undertaken by the NGO, as well as a high rate of cost recovery ensures the replicability of the programme.

From the above, it is clear that in India there are several options in shelter delivery for the urban poor. As in Mexico and Indonesia, the major investments in the construction of dwellings in India are made by the people themselves. According to US AID (1989), 70 per cent of urban housing supply is being met by the private formal and informal sectors. Cooperative housing associations are not able to assist the poor. Their domain remains restricted to the higher- and middle-income groups, with a few minor exceptions in slums in Ahmedabad, Bombay and Delhi. Small-scale contractors are the only actors that work for the poor and lower-income groups, because their shelter construction normally is incremental, i.e., carried out over time according to available funds.

In several Indian cities, slum dwellers have organized themselves in CBOs. Some grants, loans and technical support have become available to these organizations under various programmes. The Government has often facilitated assistance from NGOs to the CBOs. CBOs are typically formed for the purpose of protest against possible eviction or for fighting a legal battle. Many CBOs have also been formed in the 1980s, in response to a requirement inherent in slum improvement programmes. CBOs have a tendency to consist of people belonging to the same background. In this way, a fairly strong community bond may exist. Yet, it should be remembered that community participation tends to be informal, i.e., not formalized into a legal body. The role of local-level leaders and NGOs is critical in accomplishing sustained community participation by establishing legally recognized CBOs. In the years to come the role of CBOs will be even more important, due to the government decision of a gradual withdrawal from direct shelter provision (see box 39).

Punervaas is a shelter movement in India which brings together local authorities, financial institutions and NGOs, with the aim of supporting the poor in the cities to help themselves in improving their living conditions (Kaul, 1991). Punervaas is a catalyst in the process of forming multi-purpose cooperatives in small slum communities. The movement also aims at creating attitudes of thrift and arrangements for credit, in order for small savings to be mobilized. Loans for small-scale enterprises will then become available to the poor. An innovative and utmost important task undertaken by the movement is to familiarize NGOs with specific slum communities. In this way the NGOs can give more appropriate assistance more efficiently.

Box 39. SPARC: relocation of pavement dwellers in Bombay

SPARC attempts to empower women to make and achieve their own alternatives to pavement dwelling and to design their homes and even to plan entire settlements. The aim is to place shelter developments under the control of people themselves, through new patterns of collective leadership in the communities. This is seen to be essential to change the fact that in nearly every shelter programme, more than half of the original beneficiaries sell their plot and dwelling. SPARC is of the opinion that if women play a major role in shelter programmes, this will not happen to the same degree. Today men are the target and decision-makers of housing programmes. Since women are the ones who make a shelter into a home and also more and more often work out the family's package of survival strategies, they should have a larger say in the planning of settlements. The situation for women is, however, the opposite - they cannot get housing finance or obtain a plot title even when they have a greater stake in gaining a permanent dwelling.

The city and state authorities maintain that there is no land available for resettling pavement dwellers. The alternative left for them was thus to help themselves. SPARC meant that this could be achieved if they understood clearly what was required, in terms of resources, policies and procedures, and then negotiated with the authorities. Each pavement community had to be organized with a collective leadership to avoid internal exploitation and “divide and rule” policies by external forces. With the help of SPARC, land was found at the outskirts of the city. Yet, the people found it to be expensive and too far from their sources of livelihood. The latter point was especially affecting women. The majority of the beneficiaries had no opportunity to examine the physical site beforehand and could not calculate the economic impact of the move. The result was that many could not repay the loans, and ended up selling their newly-acquired plot and returning to their earlier place of living.

After this experience SPARC initiated a training process for women in groups of 15-25. They were taken to different vacant lands in the city, and the criteria for suitability of the areas were discussed. The important outcome of this process was that people should resettle as whole communities, and that training in building skills were necessary. Since shelter provision for the poor must depend on self-help in construction, it is essential for quality housing that both men and women acquire skills through outside assistance in training. Moreover, in the decisions on the location of new settlements for the poor their work pattern, especially women's, should be considered. Space for income-generating activities in the home is also of significance for many women.

After an assessment of the various housing programmes for the poor and lower-income group in India Kundu (1993) concludes: “... success in terms of their targets has been extremely limited, although certain states have done better than others....” The National Commission on Urbanisation (NCU) has made a similar observation. NCU (1988) states that even the main targets were missed. It furthermore concluded that there was a high degree of inflexibility in the programmes and schemes.

The liberalization in the urban sector - including relaxation of the administrative and legislative controls - weakens public control over land, and thus restricts the capacity of public agencies to find land for sheltering the poor.

4. Nigeria

In Nigeria, there are only very few large-scale contractors engaged in the provision of housing. There is, however, a large number of small contractors that have contributed considerably to the shelter-delivery process. They have built for the middle-and low-income groups. NGOs, CBOs and cooperatives have no tradition in shelter provision in Nigeria, and are even today nearly totally absent. The public sector has so far concentrated its effort on owner-occupied housing, and thus on the better-off section of the population. The criticism of public housing has been: high unit costs; slow rate of output; low quality of production; inadequate attention to site location; and much “red tape” in administration. Achunine (1993) concludes that the few government housing schemes implemented, have not been of benefit to the poor or to the lower-income group.

Experience shows that the provision of sufficient infrastructure and basic services in Nigeria are beyond the financial capability of local and national authorities. Private developers have thus started to develop large tracts of land for housing construction. Funding of infrastructure now depends more and more on capital markets. Payments for infrastructure will therefore have to be collected primarily from the users. There is, however, an in-built cross-subsidization of land on some publicly developed land at the urban fringes. Other types of subsidies are uncommon in the housing sector in Nigeria.