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Posts Tagged ‘housing’

Housing for people living with HIV/AIDS around the world

July 23, 2010 Leave a comment

More than a Just a Roof Over My Head: Housing for people living with HIV/AIDS, 2010.

Download Full-text (pdf)

Sponsored by the Ford Foundation and compiled by the National AIDS Housing Coalition (NAHC), this document examines the relationship between HIV/AIDS and housing instability in various communities, cities, and nations across the globe. The majority of the text was provided by advocates working on the ground in their communities and affiliated with the National AIDS Housing Coalition through the International AIDS Housing Roundtable; their organizations are cited and their testimonies were supplemented by data and information from UNAIDS, UN-Habitat, as well as other institutions and peer-reviewed articles. Names are withheld from personal testimony to protect confidentiality.

The purpose of this document is to examine the relationship between HIV/AIDS and housing instability. Adequate housing is a human right and a necessary foundation to fulfill other rights and to enjoy a decent quality of life. While poverty is linked to poorer health outcomes and creates an environment of risk across the globe, HIV infection is prevalent among all socioeconomic classes, and HIV/AIDS exacerbates poverty and inequalities across the board.

HIV prevalence in urban areas is 1.7 times the prevalence in rural areas, while HIV is most prevalent in the poorest region of the world: sub-Saharan Africa, where HIV/AIDS is most experienced in rural areas and where access to information and health services is limited.

Approximately 3.49 billion people (50.6% of the world’s population) live in urban areas; one third of these residents are poor, while almost a quarter (827.6 million people) live in slums. In sub-Saharan Africa, 61.7% of the urban population lives in slums, followed by South-Eastern Asia (31%), Latin America and the Caribbean (23.5%), and North Africa (13.3%). Slums are characterized by poor sanitation and hygiene, unsafe water supply, malnutrition, insecure land tenure, and lack of access to basic health, transportation, and other public services. These conditions increase the risk of HIV infection and poor health outcomes related to AIDS-related
complications and mortality.

Categories: Global Tags: ,

IIED – High-density housing that works for all

March 26, 2010 Leave a comment

High-density housing that works for all.

Full-text – http://www.iied.org/pubs/pdfs/17079IIED.pdf (pdf, 158KB)

Arif Hasan. Published: Mar 2010 – IIED

In an urbanising world, the way people fit into cities is vastly important – socially, economically, environmentally, even psychologically. So density, or the number of people living in a given area, is central to urban design and planning.

Both governments and markets tend to get density wrong, leading to overcrowding, urban sprawl or often both. A case in point are the high-rise buildings springing up throughout urban Asia – perceived as key features of that widely touted concept, the ‘world-class city’.

While some may offer a viable solution to land pressures and density requirements, many built to house evicted or resettled ‘slum’ dwellers are a social and economic nightmare – inconveniently sited, overcrowded and costly.

New evidence from Karachi, Pakistan, reveals a real alternative. Poor people can create liveable high-density settlements as long as community control, the right technical assistance and flexible designs are in place. A city is surely ‘world-class’ only when it is cosmopolitan – built to serve all, including the poorest.

Categories: Pakistan Tags: ,

IIED – Getting land for housing; what strategies work for low-income groups?

February 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Getting land for housing; what strategies work for low-income groups?

Full-text: http://www.iied.org/pubs/pdfs/10580IIED.pdf

This Brief is based on the editorial from Environment and Urbanization Vol 21, No 2, October 2009. The struggle by low-income groups in urban areas to get housing and basic services is often a struggle either to get land on which to build or to get tenure of land they already occupy. Their drive to get land, their energy and their capacity are never factored into official housing policies.

In many nations, the last 10 years have shown how the scale and scope of what they can do is much increased when they are organized through federations of savings groups and these federations are offering government partnerships in addressing their needs for housing and services. Where national and local governments respond positively, much can be achieved as shown by government–federation partnerships in Thailand, the Philippines, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Cambodia.

Even local governments with limited funding and capacity can increase the supply and reduce the cost of land for housing through allocating publicly owned land, through making available land for housing by extending infrastructure and services to new areas, and through pro-poor changes to building and land use regulations and the ways these are applied. Organized urban poor groups have also shown how they can often negotiate an affordable price with the owner of the land they occupy, if supported to do so (as in Thailand and the Philippines).

Urban poor groups also find ways to narrow the gap between the cost of the land they need and what they can afford – smaller plot sizes (although this has to be negotiated with the authorities) and incremental building, and the use of credit (so costs are spread over time). This may be helped by careful use of subsidies. What delivers for the urban poor is not the provision of legal title but governments and international agencies that listen to, work with and support them, including providing finance that they can draw on as and when needed.

Categories: Global Tags:

IIED – Getting land for housing; what strategies work for low-income groups?

November 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Getting land for housing; what strategies work for low-income groups?

Full-text – http://www.iied.org/pubs/pdfs/10580IIED.pdf (pdf, 107KB)

Oct 2009 – IIED

The struggle by low-income groups in urban areas to get housing and basic services is often a struggle either to get land on which to build or to get tenure of land they already occupy. Their drive to get land, their energy and their capacity are never factored into official housing policies. In many nations, the last 10 years have shown how the scale and scope of what they can do is much increased when they are organized through federations of savings groups and these federations are offering government partnerships in addressing their needs for housing and services.

Where national and local governments respond positively, much can be achieved as shown by government–federation partnerships in Thailand, the Philippines, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Cambodia. Even local governments with limited funding and capacity can increase the supply and reduce the cost of land for housing through allocating publicly owned land, through making available land for housing by extending infrastructure and services to new areas, and through pro-poor changes to building and land use regulations and the ways these are applied.

Organized urban poor groups have also shown how they can often negotiate an affordable price with the owner of the land they occupy, if supported to do so (as in Thailand and the Philippines). Urban poor groups also find ways to narrow the gap between the cost of the land they need and what they can afford – smaller plot sizes (although this has to be negotiated with the authorities) and incremental building, and the use of credit (so costs are spread over time). This may be helped by careful use of subsidies. What delivers for the urban poor is not the provision of legal title but governments and international agencies that listen to, work with and support them, including providing finance that they can draw on as and when needed.

Categories: Global Tags:

Africa cities failing on green targets

February 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Major Cities in Africa are grappling with monumental challenges that are placing hurdles in the move towards green economy.

Rapid industrialization and population growth in these Cities has constrained the ability to cope with high levels of air and water pollution, hence the slow pace in greening these cities.

A panel of experts roundtable held at the ongoing UNEP Governing Council meeting in Nairobi noted that Cities are critical in catalyzing the move towards low carbon economy in Africa.

However, this can only be made possible through increased investments, development of sound policies and political goodwill, required to raise the bar in limiting greenhouse gas emissions in Africa’s burgeoning cities.

Angela Cropper, UNEP Deputy Executive Director noted that Cities presents huge potential in realization of green goals among African Countries” if only authorities move urgently to tackle basic challenges revolving around poor infrastructure, high levels of pollution and overstretched capacity of basic amenities such as water and sanitation to meet growing population.”

She reiterated that Cities are the next frontier for greening the planet and Africa must capture this opportunity by scaling up efforts that would add impetus on the move towards low carbon economy. Cropper observed that one half of the total global population live in Cities.

“African Cities are the new frontiers for industrial growth in the light of influx of rural population that have moved to the cities in search of better livelihoods.”

She says As a result, informal settlements have mushroomed in these Cities. Poor urban planning and poverty has created setbacks in efforts to restore ecological health in the Cities.

For Cities in Africa to attain green goals, greater efforts must be devoted towards improved solid and liquid waste management, as well as construction of ecofriendly low cost houses, says. CropperCities emit 75% of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

In Africa, Cities are responsible for atmospheric pollution whose ripple effects are being felt in the rural areas as evidenced by rising health and ecological disasters.

Africa governments must therefore invest in innovative but less costly technologies to curb greenhouse gas emissions in major Cities; this is according to Sylvie Lemmet, Director, UNEP Division for Technology, Industry and Economics Lemmet contends that African Cities can be transformed to boost their capacity in greening the economy.

“This can be realized through engaging the citizens, private sector and civic authorities in the application of green technologies while developing physical infrastructure such as housing, energy, water and sanitation”.

She said mutual partnership among these key stakeholders can assist in development of low cost houses fitted with solar panels. “Ecosanitation projects, recycling of liquid and solid waste are critical in development of renewable energy in these cities”, she says.

The Mayor of Entebbe, Stephen Kabuye reiterated that Africa Cities can provide the required impetus to green the Countries` economies.

“This can be realized through prudent use of natural resources to meet the demand on the population and maintain ecological balance”, he says.

Kabuye notes that high population growth has exerted pressure on Lake Victoria natural resources and is as well responsible for pollution on the Worlds second largest fresh water body. “Uganda government has therefore imposed a ban on illegal fishing in the lake”, says Kabuye.

The government of Uganda is assisting communities living in cities and Municipalities adjacent to Lake Victoria to implement pollution control programmes.

“The government is encouraging energy efficiency by helping communities acquire energy saving stoves to minimize firewood use. Other measures include promotion of renewable energy such as solar and wind”, says Kabuye.

Recycling of solid and liquid waste at the local level to curb pollution is being encouraged. Entebbe Municipality is promoting use of broken bottles in security fences. Cattle, fish bones and food peelings are being used to manufacture animal feed, he adds.

Source – Africa Science News

Women, slums and urbanization

October 29, 2008 Leave a comment

Women, slums and urbanisation: examining the causes and consequences.. Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions , 2008 (pdf, ful-text)

This report examines the worldwide phenomenon of urbanisation from the point of view of women’s housing rights. The report focuses, in particular, on the experiences of women and girls living in slum communities throughout the world, premised on the idea that both the causes and consequences of urbanisation for women are, in fact, unique and deeply related to issues of gender. The report highlights women’s experiences from Africa, Asia and the Americas and background information on the global realities of urbanisation, including trends and analysis.

Categories: Global Tags: ,
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