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An evaluation of the self-help housing scheme in Botswana, case of Gaborone city

Author(s): Ikgopoleng Horatio | Cavrić Branko

Journal: Spatium
ISSN 1450-569X

Volume: 2007;
Issue: 15-16;
Start page: 28;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: Botswana | low-income housing | self help housing

Botswana like other developing countries faces a problem of acute shortage of housing, particularly for low-income urban families. The current housing problems are the outcomes of the economic, demographic and social changes which the country has experienced since independence in 1966. In particular the urbanization process which surfaced in the early 1980’s. The government has sought to cope with the problem of low-income urban housing by establishing a Self-Help Housing (SHHA) program in the main urban centers. The evaluation findings reveal that, on the whole, the impact of the SHHA approach on the improvement of low-income urban housing has been unsuccessful. The major problems of the scheme are lack of serviced land and inadequate finances for plot development. This has been exacerbated by the high urban development standards which are out of the reach of low-income urban families. The evaluation study also reveals that, there are some indications of non low-income urban households living in SHHA areas. The available evidence reveals that the number of those people in SHHA areas is not as big as has been speculated by most people in the country. However this paper calls for more investigation in this issue and a need for more tight measures to control this illicit practice. The major conclusions are that housing policies in Botswana are not supportive of the general housing conditions in low-income urban areas. Therefore there is a need for urban planners and policy makers of Botswana to take more positive action towards the improvement of low-income urban areas. This would require pragmatic policies geared towards the improvement of those areas. .