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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The sites and services housing strategy in relation to the land question in the developing countries : the case of Zambia Chisanga, Benson


This thesis examines the problems and issues associated with urban housing land in the context of Sites and Sevices housing as a strategy for providing improved housing services to the urban poor in the developing countries. It addresses the inadequacies of the existing patterns of housing land tenure and methods of supplying land. Some ideas are developed on the alternative tenure arrangements and strategies for providing housing land. The ideas are based on the supposition that the potential benefits of Sites and Services housing would never be fully realized unless new forms of land tenure and strategies for providing housing land are initiated. The methods employed in this study are based upon a literature review technique with emphasis on theoretical and content analysis. Zambia is taken as a specific case study of the housing land problem in a comparative perspective with the other three member states of the Commonwealth group of nations. The analytical framework adopted is designed to explore the impact of the existing land tenure systems and land supply methods for low income housing. The principal theme centres on the long-term equity and efficiency implications for the use of urban housing land. This study has shown that the concept of Sites and Services housing is a positive strategy for redressing the housing problems of low-income households in comparison with the available alternatives such as the conventional public low cost housing. However, the shortcomings are substantive and have substantial long-term implications. The main conclusions which may be drawn from the review and analysis of the case studies are that the private freehold and leasehold land tenure systems are not appropriate for solving the housing problems of the urban poor. Similarly, 'reactive planning' or a 'disjointed incremental' approach to housing land provision is not cost effective and responsive to the high demand for low income housing. The shortcoming of the tenure systems is the tendency to promote commodity relations in land and housing, giving rise to speculation. The urban poor do not fare well under these market conditions because they tend to lose access to land and housing services in the long run. Moreover, the method of providing land does not guarantee the availability of adequate and affordable housing land in good locations. The challenge, therefore, is how to remove housing land from the speculative market and to ensure access to the urban poor. Against this background, the concepts of 'Communal Land Trust' and 'Land Bank' advanced in this study if adopted could make Sites and Services housing a meaningful strategy for housing low-income households in Zambia and other countries with similar housing problems.

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