|Assessment of Experience with the Project Approach to Shelter Delivery for the Poor (HABITAT, 1991, 52 p.)|
|III. Social impact of shelter projects|
Although not usually stated, the objective of most new settlement projects is to provide residential stability for low-income groups who may have previously been suffering from insecure and inadequate accommodation. The fact that it is unstated may well be because it is assumed. The irony of this objective is that many households regard access to a shelter project to be the equivalent of winning a lottery ticket in that they receive a plot, or house unit, which is worth considerably more on the open market than they are required to pay for it. By selling out to higher income groups, they are able to realize the market value and achieve a substantial capital asset. The extent to which this practice occurs varies enormously. In the Klender project in Jakarta (Herlianto, 1990: 29) and a private-sector project in Bandung (Herlianto, 1990: 43), it appears that there has been considerable out-movement of original project beneficiaries. They have been replaced by higher-income households, though no study has been made of the extent or reasons for this process (Herlianto, 1990:29). Likewise in Delhi, and many other Indian cities, the transfer of property rights by power of attorney is so widespread that a large proportion of plots in the first phase of the massive Rohini project was acquired by estate agents.
In Zimbabwe as well, there are evidence of illegal transfers of plots to middle-income households. Yet, the extent of this is not known. In general, however, projects are held to contribute to residential stability (Mutizwa-Mangiza, 1990:59). In the Kalingalinga project in Zambia, about 20 per cent of households sold out to newcomers. The Aktepe project in Ankara, however, seems to score well in this respect. Likewise, it is estimated that only 5 per cent of original beneficiaries in the Tarsus project have moved out, though it is still, of course, early days. Projects in Turkey appear therefore, to contribute to residential stability. This is basically due to formal restrictions, however. In cases where people do move out, it seems that they are replaced by households with a similar socio-economic profile.
For some very-low-income households, residential stability is not considered a priority and mobility is more important. This may be because they do not have regular employment, and that their incomes are too low to pay for a house of their own. It may be necessary for them to move from one location to another following economic opportunities. Most such households in Indonesia, for example, live in kampungs and shanties. The improvement of such settlements raises problems for these households, since any improvement costs recovered from plot or house owners tends to be reflected in higher rents charged to tenants. This increase may force them out and residential mobility is thus increased even more. To date, no effective solution has been found to this problem (Herlianto, 1990: 81).