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close this bookAssessment of Experience with the Project Approach to Shelter Delivery for the Poor (HABITAT, 1991, 52 p.)
close this folderII. Financial and economic impact of shelter projects
View the document2.1 Mobilization of household savings
View the document2.2 Affordability, subsidy and cost recovery
Open this folder and view contents2.3 Institutional framework and financial management
View the document2.4 Comparison with non-project shelter standards and costs

2.4 Comparison with non-project shelter standards and costs

The ability of shelter projects to attract their target populations is influenced largely by what they provide for a given level of cost. This suggests that it is essential to know the total costs of public-sector units and existing non-project options accommodating such groups. Surprisingly, such information is difficult to find in the literature.

Keare and Parris compare the costs of housing built by the Government and units built by residents in World Bank-financed sites-and-services schemes projects in Zambia (1982: xiv). The experience shows that the former cost five times more than the latter. Turner (1988: 14) also claims that the costs of housing provided or improved by low-income communities are three to five times lower than units built for them. Similarly, it appears that housing provided through projects in Turkey is twice as expensive as similar non-project housing on adjacent land (Tokman, 1990: 40). Of course, repayment levels are often very poor in public-sector projects, so the impact of such distinctions on the perceptions of potential beneficiaries may be exaggerated in practice. However, this reluctance to pay even the subsidized cost of public-sector housing, whether of a conventional pre-built type, or a plot in a sites-and-services project, only serves to perpetuate demand for types and standards of provision which cannot easily be sustained by project agencies.