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Mobility and tenure

This first part of this chapter looks at the way in which female heads of household have moved from one shelter to another during their lifetimes and explores some of the reasons for those moves. Much of the information covered reveals how shelter Is inextricably linked to women's economic and reproductive roles. Movement has been something forced upon many of them rather than being a positive decision that they have taken independently of outside forces and for their own benefit. The second part of the chapter focuses on tenure patterns and how these vary for different types of household with respect to both dwelling and land.

 

Mobility

The low-income household survey found that female heads of household showed higher mobility rates than other kinds of household heads. This is, almost certainly. a reflection of their prevalence in the rental market and the contraction that has occured in that market. Boyd (1987) found that the price of housing (inclusive of rentals) in the KMA had risen more rapidly during the 1980s than it had during the latter part of the 1970s. Housing prices rose 91 per cent during the period January 1981 to June 1985, compared with 60 per cent between January 1977 and June 1980.

As the rental market has shrunk in the city with rapid commercialization of residential properties (often yards). little new investment in low-income housing and escalating rental prices, female heads of household have been forced to move out and search for any shelter options they can find. This has proved to be a particularly difficult task for women with children. Movement away from the traditional yards increases the burden for child care that individual women must shoulder and the space that is required to accomodate children increases the cost of household shelter. In addition, many private landlords prefer childless tenants. Residential movements also often increase expenditure on education. It can be very difficult to obtain a school place for a child in a new area and many children travel considerable distances by bus so that they can continue at their "old" school.

Another factor that has had a dramatic effect on mobility is politics. This has been particularly true in the core and western parts of the city where political violence in the late 1970s and particularly that in the period before the 1980 election, led to a net outward migration from the inner city. Two of the women who served as case studies lived through this experience of "political" migration. However, political migration has become far less important in recent years. Instead, women, and many men, seem to move in order to find any affordable shelter they can.

The survey found that 23 per cent of female heads of household had spent one year or less in their present accommodation compared with 14 per cent of male and 13 per cent of joint heads. In addition female heads were found to have made more moves in the time they had been in Kingston than other kinds of household heads. The number of moves in the time respondents have been in Kingston are shown in table 13.

Table 13. Percentage of different types of households by number of moves since coming to Kingston

Types of household

Number of moves

 

0

1-2

3-5

6-10

10+

Female-headed

16

21

45

17

2

Male-headed

7

34

40

14

5

Joint-headed

13

44

27

13

3

Percentage total households

13

32

37

15

3

The lack of shelter choice available to female heads of households is revealed starkly in the figures given in table 14. Nearly 40 per cent of female heads of household moved to their present location because they had nowhere else to go. This was only true of 3 per cent of male heads and 27 per cent of joint heads.

Female-headed households appeared not only to have moved more often than other households in the past but also to be more interested in moving in the future. Some 63 per cent of female heads wanted to move from the community where they were currently located as opposed to 54 per cent of joint heads of household. Of those who wanted to move female heads were also twice as likely as joint heads to want to go "to foreign.- For many women the options for their survival in Jamaica are just too narrow and they hope that one day they will be able to travel to the United States or Canada where they hope to find a more prosperous and satisfactory existence.

Table 14. Percentage Or different types of households by reason for choosing present area

Reason for choosing area

Type of household

 

Female-headed

Male-headed

Joint-headed

Proximity to family and relatives

17

19

10

setter atmosphere /facilities

8

9

10

Affordable

8

3

8

Only available place

37

3

27

Proximity to work place

1

2

2

Familiarity of area

4

2

6

Proximity to friends

4

3

2

Lease land available

3

1

1

Near former residence

2

0

2

Born and bred here

2

1

4

Recommendations

3

4

1

Other

11

53

27

Total

100

100

100

 

The stories behind the figures

Some of the stories of movement that emerged from the case studies are told below. They reflect the impact that the formation and breakup of women's relationships with men have on their access to shelter and also the way in which childbearing affects mobility.

Auntie

Auntie was born in St. Ann in 1937. She lived there until she was 17 at which time she came to the City to search for work.

Her first home in the city was composed of a single room in a government barracks that had been constructed in an area known as Cockburn Gardens and she stayed there until 1966 when she was 29. During that year she moved nearer to the harbour, to Majestic Gardens. The move resulted from a split-up with her babyfather. She moved into a single room in a block of six units that lay back-to-back with a further six units.

Things went reasonably well until the violence of the 1980 elections. She was forced out of the area where she was living when her house and furniture were burnt by gunmen and she fled "like a refugee" to a friend who put her up for a few months while she built a single room out of gleaned building materials along the Causeway. Later she moved to a larger spot in the same area where she has been living eight years.

At the time that Auntie moved to the Causeway there were only a few fishermen living along the beach. There were only three huts. However as the election violence increased in places like Greenwich Farm, Hunts Bay, Majestic Gardens and other Kingston housing schemes other people started running. The Causeway seemed an ideal place to run to. People could build a tatoo fairly easily and as most of them were already involved in fishing and fish vending it was a convenient location that would enable them to continue their income-generating activities. The fact that they all came from areas where they had suffered from election violence and from areas that were associated with one of the political parties in particular gave them a certain solidarity.

Gradually more and more people came into the area and the roadside began filling up for a stretch of about quarter of a mile.

If Auntie moved she would probably commute back to the Causeway to run the fish business.

Carmen

Carmen was born in St. James. She first came to Kingston to Mountain View Avenue to look for domestic work. Then she moved to another place on Mountain View Avenue and then to East Street where she has been for 10 years.

Deula

Deula has moved nine times in her life. Most of these moves were between different relatives with whom she lived after her mother died.

Icie

She was born at Bamboo Pen on Mona Road. Since then she has only moved twice and she's been living in the same place for 20 years.

Lena

Lena's case study has been presented in full as an annex and provides a typical example of the manner in which women move from one home to another in Jamaica. Her moves have been:

(a) Born in Mandeville. When she was 4 her great- grandfather died so she moved to her great-grandmother's house at Maidstone.

(b) At 15 her father died and his support ended so she had to move out to start work in Devon.

(c) She moved to Kingston to get better work.

(d) She went back to work in Mandeville.

(e) She became pregnant and went back to Maidstone.

(f) She left the child in the country and went back to Kingston and lived with her aunt.

(g) She moved into her own place in Kingston.

(h) She moved to look after her grandmother.

(i) She went to live with her babyfather who later threw her out.

(j) She moved to Cassava Piece where a friend told her about a one-room unit. She's been there ever since.

Letty

She originally came from Clarendon but has lived in her present house for 36 years.

Marcia

She was born in Westmorland and lived with her grandparents. When they got old she went to live with one of her aunts.

She describes coming to Kingston and her search for a job.

"When I came to Kingston the Job that my friend said she got for me it wasn't there. but I say to myself 'Bwoy, I have to try for something. Me have to start from somewhere.' So I did two weeks with a woman. And then the gardener at the place start to work up himself (make sexual advances to her) so I said to myself' No, it can't work. I can't do this'. The lady went away to foreign and it was just I was there in the day with the gardener, him and me, both of us, and him trying to do a thing so I let the lady know say I have to leave. But the lady say I was a good person and she didn't want me to go back to country so she sent me to one of her friends.

"Most time men get through with housing better than women because most time they (landlords) tell you that they can't bother with the children and prefer a single man or woman. They don't want a woman with children. That's why you have to take the children to the country because where I am now they don't want any children. Its very hard to get somewhere when you have children."

Megan

She was born in St. Ann. When she was 12 her mother took her and her sister to Kingston to seek a better life and to get away from her father "who was a wicked man." It was 10 years before Megan saw her father again.

The small family moved into a rented room with a concrete floor and board walls in the western part of the city. They stayed there for four years in a tenement yard where they had a board unit with a zinc roof. In 1972 there were elections and trouble in the area led to Megan moving to another area. However in 1977 the area she moved to came under attack from supporters of the rival party during the political violence that erupted in Western Kingston. In the late 1970s, the yard that Megan was living in was burnt out. The family had to move hurriedly to a lane just off Waltham Park Road where they moved into a unit they hurriedly constructed of cardboard, zinc and wood. They took as much building material as possible from the burntout building and this is evident as much of the zinc and board is scorched and burnt.

When Megan moved into the area she is now in she found herself a vacant lot. It had not been vacant long but the previous squatter had recently died and his dwelling unit was vandalized and literally disappeared "overnight" so there was ample space for Megan to build her small one-room unit. The area in question is extremely politicized and Megan had to get permission from the ranking leadership in the area before she could move in and also had to agree to abide by the rules and activities of the community.

Pansy

Pansy grew up in St. Elizabeth in a traditional board house on family land. She came to Kingston to look for work when she was I 9 and stayed with her uncle who owned his own piece of land. She stayed here for eight years until she moved into a board house which she rented. Later she moved into her own house where she stayed for 25 years before being relocated by the Ministry of Housing to Standpipe five years ago.

She went there with most of her neighbours. The government relocation was based on a sites-and-service scheme with each family being provided with a small wooden unit and the land on which it was sited. They were relocated because the Government wanted to build a road through the area.

Pearl

"My father met with a lady down in Manchester and she was going back to Kingston so he came with her and he carried us to live with her in Jones Town. That is how our life was changed, because when we had come up we had to live in just the woman's room, one little bedroom. The room was rented in a yard. The landlord had a big house and there were three rooms on the side and we tek up one.

"I remember I was glad to come to Kingston to live. You know it was very exciting. But when we come it was a different sort of thing. Like the food that we usually get to eat and everything else change. We don't go to school often. The savings use up. Many days I don't go to school because I had to stay and care for my little brothers and sisters. My father would go and come.

Pearl moved another five times before she settled down in a house provided by the father of three of her children, but even then things didn't work out. In an attempt to become more independent and to earn money for herself Pearl got herself trained as a cashier and found a job in a bar. Her babyfather didn't like that. He tried to stop her and they fought. He threw her out of the house and she had to move back in with her father. Since then she has lived on her own and has even been to the Cayman Islands to try and find work but things have not worked out well. She is now back again living in a room in a house leased by her father.

Tenure

Tenure can be an extremely complex matter. There is a distinction for instance, between land tenure and dwelling tenure which means that ownership of a dwelling need have no correspondence with ownership of land. One of the most important findings of the study with respect to gender differences related to tenure. Female-headed households were found to be far less likely to be owners and were far more likely to be renters of both land and dwellings than the other kinds of household. This has important implications which will be explored later in this chapter.

For the moment it might be helpful to clarify some of the terms that will be used in the discussion. Most of them have been covered in the Glossary but they have been reproduced here for the sake of convenient reference.

Capturing

This is synonymous with squatting. Squatters are also often referred to as "capturers."

Family land

Family land is a form of land ownership that is based on traditional or customary law which has its origins in traditional West African practices rather than the European system of titling which was formally introduced into the Jamaican legal system with the Registration of Titles Law of 1888. To this day a large proportion of the Jamaican public remain unaware of the rules of the formal tenure system and effectively continue to rely on the older traditional system. This is particularly true in the rural areas but also apparent in the older areas of Kingston. The crucial difference between family land and individually-owned land is that family land cannot be sold to the benefit an individual member of the family as all family members have right of access to build and reside. Besson (1987) has convincingly demonstrated that family land was created by Creole society as a response to the constraints of agrarian relations and legal codes developed by the white plantocracy.

With the advent of the formal contemporary system of tenure all sorts of contradictions were introduced including the difficult problem of legitimacy in the case of families which traditionally placed little importance on the coincidence of conjugal relationships and marriage.

Lease land

Leasing is a form of long-term tenancy that is more prevalent with respect to land than it is to dwellings. It is a particularly common feature of agricultural land and is rather more common in rural than In urban areas. Typical leasing arrangements run between 5 and 30 years. Lease payments are usually made on a quarterly or annual rather than monthly basis.

Live free

This refers to a tenure relationship in which the property is not owned by the occupier, nor rented, nor leased. and which has not been captured or squatted. The classic example of living free is the inner-city occupant of a tenement yard who initially may have paid rent but who ceased to do so when the landlord effectively abandoned the property in response to Inner- city violence and political turbulence. Another example is a tenant of government owned property who benefits from the traditional blind eye of Jamaica's long-standing political patronage system.

Own

Refers to legal ownership of the land and/or dwelling. and to customary ownership which may be lacking in legal documentation. According to Edith Clarke ( 1954) there are three documents which are commonly believed to give proof of land ownership under customary as opposed to formal law. These are:

(a) A receipt from a vendor - "house paper";

(b) A tax receipt for the land;

(c) A will bequeathing the land.

In this study if respondents said that they owned the dwelling and/or the land It was recorded as such with no formal documentary proof being requested.

Rent

Renting is a short-term tenancy arrangement with rent normally being paid on a monthly basis. Rental agreements are more common to dwellings than they are to land alone and occur within both the formal and Informal sectors. Some people rent from squatters for instance.

Spot or ground rent

An amount paid per month or per quarter for the use of the land on which someone lives in their own dwelling.

Squatting (capturing)

Squatting refers to the illegal occupation of land or dwelling. It has strong historical antecedents in Jamaica as it was the main form of land occupation used by the newly-freed slaves following emancipation and was also practiced by their ex-masters who tended to squat on the best land available in the plains. Squatting is recognized within the formal legal system and squatters have rights of undisputed possession after a period of 12 years in the case of private land and 50 years in the case of Crown land.

Yard

Yard is a very complex concept within the Jamaican context. The term is used regularly in a number of different ways:

(a) The space surrounding a building and enclosed within an outer boundary, usually a fence or zinc or board. but sometimes a wall.

(b) As in tenement yard or Government yard: a set configuration of buildings which are generally rented out on a one room per household basis to tenants. The traditional yards developed on the basis of a pattern established in the grass yards during slavery times. There is usually one larger main or "front" unit that is occupied by the landlord. The Government yards which were constructed during the late 1940s are a more formalized barrack style reproduction of the basic model. Brodber (1975) has documented the yards of Kingston in considerable detail. One of the main features of these yards is the sharing of common infrastructure such as standpipe water supply and latrines. Yards are often important for women because they provide a relatively protected common area for child care thus "freeing-up" women who have to go out to earn an income.

There are no legal impediments to women owning land or property in Jamaica. However, as this study shows, there are differences in the de facto access that different kinds of households have to secure tenure. This is important because secure tenure is the most critical determining factor when a household decides whether or not to invest in the improvement and expansion of shelter, be this through a formal or informal process.

Those most likely invest in shelter improvements to their present dwellings are owners. Renters and people who are living free are unlikely to make such investments as they offer no benefit to them in the long term. Interestingly, squatters and owners exhibit very similar attitudes to home improvement and expansion. At first glance this may seem contradictory. However, there are a number of factors that make home Improvement a sound investment for squatters.

The first factor relates to land development as a means of establishing a claim to land. however tenuous. Without a building or structure that you control it is very difficult to establish that a particular piece of land "belongs" to you, whether legally or otherwise. In the case of government land squatters often argue that the more substantial the investment they have made the less likely it will be that they will be moved because of the political embarrassment that forced evictions can create. Even if they are moved, their argument for decent relocation and compensation is stronger if they have a well-developed structure.

One means of safeguarding against total destruction of a dwelling because of eviction is to make Improvements using materials that can be disassembled and rebuilt or moved intact. Lumber is therefore often a preferred building material even though it is less strong than concrete and may, if bought new, actually prove more expensive. However, "improvements" made to wooden houses can be sound investments as long as they are moveable. A third reason for improving a piece of captured land is that improvements such as pathways, latrines, retention walls, fruit trees etc. can be "sold" to the next squatter occupying the plot, even if the house is moved with the original occupier.

Significantly, female-headed households are far more likely to be renters and less likely to be owners of either land or dwelling than other kinds of households.

Female-headed households have significantly lower ownership rates than joint-headed households and much higher rental rates. The relatively high rental rates among female-headed households are important because they coincide with a number of other characteristics of female-headed households which point towards this group being caught in a poverty trap. The coincidence of rental tenure status, low saving rates, low access to formal employment, low asset levels and high dependency ratios provides the framework for the trap and the conditions for its continuity.

Table 15. Percentage of different types of households by present dwelling tenure

Type of household

Family own

Lease

Rent

Live

Free

Squat

Female-headed

28

0

0

58

13

1

Male-headed

32

0

1

51

15

1

Joint-headed

35

1

2

48

13

2

Percentage total households

32

1

1

53

13

1

Table 15 presents an overview of the situation with respect to dwelling tenure. As was the case with land, female-headed households were less likely to be owners and more likely to be renters. However, female heads of household appear as squatters with nearly the same frequency as joint heads (6 per cent of female- and male-headed households, and 7 per cent of joint-headed households proved to be land squatters). Nearly all squatters own their own houses with capturing of actual dwellings proving an extremely rare phenomenon, hence the low incidence in table 15. This finding is contrary to the historical belief that single males have the highest prevalence in squatter areas and may reflect actual increases in squatting rates for women. It would be interesting to know which women opt for a squatting shelter solution as it is by no means an easy option for low-income households with few human and material resources.

Capturing land involves investing resources in fencing or wiring off the land, building a basic unit, cutting a pathway, building a latrine and so on. None of this can be done effectively without the necessary resources. If one does not have the necessary resources one simply cannot do it. Deula's story related in the chapter on the building process, provides a good example of how a claim fails to hold up because of an insufficient investment of resources.

Observations by the author suggest that female heads of household who squat tend to do so when they have adult male relatives, usually sons or brothers, who can provide the physical assistance that is necessary to stake a claim and maintain it. Women with young children and no available adult relatives seem only to resort to squatting out of total desperation. One way of staking a claim, for instance, is to live under a piece of plastic sheeting or a few pieces of corrugated iron sheeting and make the claim through personal presence.

The advantage of developing shelter within the informal sector is that cash costs are considerably lower than in the formal sector and this allows for saving which in turn allows for expenditure patterns that can support long-term investment rather than day-to-day subsistence spending. Such investment offers a means of escape from the vicious cycle of poverty in which many female-headed households are trapped. However. relatively few female-headed households appear to be in a position to pursue this option as a means of escape from the rental market.

Some 17.9 per cent of joint-headed households had moved to their present land because they had bought it. This was true of 13.5 per cent of male-headed households but only 1 1.1 per cent of female-headed households, yet again reflecting the low ownership levels of female-headed households.

Also, 18.3 per cent of joint-headed households had built as had 17.6 per cent of male-headed households. This compares with only 13 per cent of female-headed households. With regard to rental as a means of obtaining a house the situation was reversed with 57 per cent of female-headed households indicating that this was the case, compared with 54 per cent for male-headed households and 50.6 per cent for joint-headed households.

The study looked at respondents previous land tenure. This provided some interesting results which are summarized in table 16.

The previous tenure indicated by respondents is dominated by rental and family ownership of land. There are lower levels of squatting than in the current situation while the rates of living free have remained essentially similar. There are no significant differences with regard to the type of household. This pattern is almost certainly the result of a predominantly rural shelter situation. It appears that household differences with respect to tenure only emerge within the urban situation where female-headed households also tend to be far more prevalent that they are in the rural areas.

Table 16. Percentage of different types of household by previous land tenure

Type of household

Form of land tenure

 

Own

Family

Lease

Rent free

Live

Squat

Female-headed

6

14

4

53

23

0

Male-headed

7

13

5

55

20

1

Joint-headed

6

12

4

54

22

2

Overall

6

13

4

54

22

1

The differences between different types of household found with respect to current land tenure were also reflected in the patterns of additional land and dwelling ownership. Female-headed households were less likely to be buying or to own land or a dwelling in a place other than their current location than the two other types of household. The relevant information is summarized in table 17.

Table 17. Percentage of different types of households owning and/or buying land and/or house elsewhere

Type of household

Own land/house elsewhere

Buying land/house elsewhere

Female-headed

9.9

4.2

Male-headed

11.5

4.8

Joint-headed

13.5

7.8

 

The experience behind the figures

Of the 12 women who were interviewed in depth, four were renters, four were squatters, one lived free, one owned the land and the house and two were in the process of buying the land on which the houses they owned were situated. Some of their comments on tenure are given below.

Auntie is a squatter on the Causeway that crosses Kingston Harbour. She owns the house she lives in but has done little to improve it over the years. Five years ago she was sent notice to quit by the Ministry of Housing but she's heard nothing since. She has no interest in improving her present accommodation and would very much like to have somewhere else to live, even if she keeps this as her income-generating base.

Carmen lives free in a tenement yard. She is trying hard to build her own small house so that she will be able to live in better, and less crowded conditions.

Deula is a squatter who settled on captured government land about a year ago. She used to rent but opted to move to squatting so that she could get a little more space and settle down to do some farming. The rent she was paying was also a drain on her resources.

Commenting on her hopes for the next 10 years Deula says,

"I wouldn't mind sitting down and relax. If the Government decided to lease us the land and all that I would see myself as a better person because I know the effort that I would have to put in if the Government says within the next year they could lease us this place. I know the effort I would put in to achieve something over the next ten years time. I'd be alright because I think by farming here and by having a little fowl farm and a couple of goats I would get through."

Icie owns the house she lives in and is currently buying the land she is on under a lease purchase agreement with the Government.

Lena pays ground rent for the land space she uses in a yard in Cassava Piece but owns the house which she bought and added to. She did not benefit from the squatter upgrading programme in the area because she was a tenant and the land was sold to the old lady in her yard who "controls" the place and is her landlady. As a tenant Lena had no rights to the land.

Letty owns the house and land where she lives and is dependent on the income she generates from it as a landlady.

Marcia lives in a rented furnished apartment. Her main complaint is "You cannot use anything of your own and you can't even buy things if you have money because there is nowhere to put them.- She commented in her interview how hard it is to find a place to rent when you are a woman alone with children. She has to leave her children in the country because things are so hard.

"I want to move from the house I'm in because it is a furnished room and staying into a furnished room you will never own anything for yourself and plus I can't take anybody here to do their hair. I have to go to their house and there are plenty of people I would get to do them but because it is furnished room the landlord is living here. they can't pass through and they're big responsible people. They can't hide come in. They want their hair to do on Saturdays. That mean Saturdays I have to take them to the shop where I'm working so I never benefit from it."

Megan is a squatter in a highly politicized area of Kingston. She owns the house she lives in but owes money on it to Houseman who is the man who built it for her when she first moved here.

Even though the land is not hers she would take the risk to expand. She would like to be able to own the land she lives on or to purchase land elsewhere if the possibility arose. However, she feels insecure knowing the land is not hers even though no-one "molests" her where she is. She doubts that anyone will really move her.

"I don't think anyone will move me from here again. Because since this government which hate squatters don't find me yet. I don't think they will again because they soon get voted out.

She thinks it would be good to have something to leave for her children. She says she has suffered too much due to all the movements in her life and sees this as a result of her parents not owning land. If her parents had had their own land, even in the country, then she could have gone there to live. She goes on "Business could be done better if people owned their own what they have like land, house, shops whatever."

Pam rents two rooms in a three room house from her landlord who holds the lease on this and seven more properties in the same area. She is constantly battling with the landlord over repairs but intends to put nothing of her own into improving the house unless she can rip it out and carry it with her when she goes.

Pansy has a mortgage for the land from the Ministry of Housing. The Government relocated her from another piece of land which they needed to build a road. When she was relocated, along with her neighbours. the Government gave her a basic three-room unit which she has expanded and improved on over time. Her main problem is that she has not been able to get title to the land and that is holding up the connection of the mains water supply. The mains system is in place but the National Water Commission will not put water into the system until they have seen the title.

Pearl rents from her father who leases from a landlord.

Verona is a squatter. She owns her house and the shop which she built herself with help from her family. She would prefer a concrete house but as long as she is a squatter she thinks that is out of the question.

 

Recommendations

1. The majority of low-income households in the KMA. and female-headed households in particular. are dependent on the rental market for the provision of shelter. Contraction and price escalation within this market affect them severely. Attempts to control price escalation through rent controls often result in contraction so rent control is not necessarily an effective means of protecting the viability of rentals as a shelter option. However government subsidies are increasingly teeing targeted at owner-occupiers, thus bypassing a significant section of the low-income population. The whole question of rental housing should be addressed as a central part of housing policy. The current lack of attention to a form of tenure that nearly half of Kingston's female-headed households depend on is a clear example of gender insensitivity and should be redressed.

2. The slow pace with which minimally serviced sites are being developed as part of the National Shelter Strategy means that they are having very little impact on the provision of low-income shelter and it is clear that squatting rates are increasing rather than falling. The prioritized development of a land-banking system and the framing of a comprehensive land policy are urgently required to provide the basis for a more equitable distribution of residential land. Without such a system, squatting will continue to accelerate and will result in growing environmental damage to land that could be developed safely.

3. Far more extensive urban upgrading programmes are needed, particularly in the inner-city areas. Concentrated and expensive improvements that only benefit a few households and that often lead to the displacement of many others are not the answer. Instead developments that allow for incremental improvement in standards over time and that incorporate income-generating strategies for innercity residents should be considered.

4. Many low-income households rent because they cannot afford the down-payments necessary to own either land or a dwelling, even if the land or the dwelling are subsidized developments initiated by the public sector. However leasehold access does not require a downpayment and does provide a reasonably secure form of land tenure. More leasehold land schemes should be developed to provide secure tenure for low-income households, particularly in the early stages of their formation. A particular effort should be made to develop leasehold schemes that can offer shelter options to female heads of household, if necessary, on a quota system that reflects their prevalence in the rental market.

5. The yard functions as an important economic and social safety-net for female-headed households, particularly when the head of household is responsible for young children. Shared infrastructure and child care minimize the outlays that these households must make for such services. However there is no clear policy regarding the preservation of yard accommodation within the KMA or its replication in programmes to provide new housing. The development of such a policy should receive urgent attention.

6. Customary land law gave men and women life-long rights to use of family land. The impact of modern tenure law on the access that women, in particular, have to land should be researched with particular attention to the likely impact of recent land-titling projects implemented by the Government.