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Organized Small-scale Self-help Housing

Publiceringsår: 1996
Språk: Engelska
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Building Issues, Vol 8
Dokumenttyp: Rapport
Förlag: [Publisher information missing]


There is a shortage of adequate, affordable shelter all over the world. Many households have shelter, but of unacceptable quality with respect to crowdedness, hygienic standard, indoor comfort, safety, security of land tenure, neighbourhood environment. Other families cannot afford their own shelter, but live with relatives or friends under very temporary conditions. Those who cannot afford the housing offered by the formal sector are often obliged to seek a roof within the informal sector, in one of the many spontaneous settlements.

There is increasing interest in finding solutions in the grey zone between formal housing - built by professionals, according to regulations and with mortgages - and informal housing - self-help, illegal, informal credit. Through organized self-help housing, it can be possible to create affordable homes for many households that cannot afford the housing produced by the formal sector. Along with the self-help housing process, one can also initiate and strengthen processes for social and economic development in a neighbourhood. This requires support from a facilitating organization such as a non governmental organization, municipality or private housing company.

This Building Issue highlights the concept of organized self-help housing in general and provides practical guidelines for implementing organized small-scale self-help housing projects. The role of the facilitating organization is carefully described to show how they can be successful and sustainable. The conclusions are mainly based on the authors’ involvement in organized small-scale self-help housing projects in Bolivia, Costa Rica and Tunisia over the last 15 years.

The aim of this study is not to contribute to the political debate about self-help housing, but to describe experiences of organized self-help housing projects. It is hoped that this experience will be useful for professionals and organizations who will work in this area and contribute to affordable and adequate shelter.


  • Architecture
  • Building Issues



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