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Informal Settlements and Finance in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Informal Settlements and Finance in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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This report examines urbanization rates in Tanzania and its impacts on housing provision. It also reviews the different settlement upgrading projects carried out by the government, NGOs and other stakeholders that were aimed at improving the lives and working conditions of the majority of people living in informal settlements.
This report examines urbanization rates in Tanzania and its impacts on housing provision. It also reviews the different settlement upgrading projects carried out by the government, NGOs and other stakeholders that were aimed at improving the lives and working conditions of the majority of people living in informal settlements.

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03/26/2014

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Tanzania, like most of the developing
countries, has and continues, to be faced with
high urbanization rates amidst slow economic
growth rates. Although the economy is now
picking up, the country is still unable to meet
the demands for housing for the majority of
its residents, particularly in the urban areas.
Most of the housing provision is carried out
by petty landlords. While this is positive in
many aspects, the eforts of the landlords
are frustrated by local governments’ failure
to produce sufcient and serviced land for
housing. As a result, more than 70 per cent of
the houses built in urban areas are located in
unplanned settlements that lack most of the
basic infrastructure and social services.

As early as the 1970s, the government
recognized unplanned settlements as
important urban residential areas: they needed
to be upgraded and not to be demolished.
And observing its inability to meet the urban
housing demand, the government put in place
a number of policies and enacted several laws

to facilitate the upgrading of the unplanned
settlements as well as the provision of surveyed
and serviced plots. Notable are the National
Housing policy of 1981; the National Human
Settlements Development Policy of 2000; the
Housing Development Policy of 2008 (which
is in draft form); and the Land Act of 1999.

With fnancial and technical support from
the government as well as the World Bank,
Manzese, Mtoni and Tandika unplanned
settlements in Dar es Salaam, as well as
unplanned settlements in four upcountry
towns, were upgraded whereby the most basic
infrastructure (roads, storm water drainage,
water supply, etc) and basic social services
(primary schools, health centres, markets, etc)
were provided. Similarly, with support from
UNDP and the Ford Foundation, Hanna
Nassif was upgraded by providing the basic
infrastructure through innovative participatory
approaches. One cross-cutting challenge that
these pioneer upgrading projects faced was
poor cost recovery.

At the time of writing this report, regularization,
which is contained in the Land Act of 1999,
is the key instrument for improving the living
and working conditions of people living in
informal settlements. For example, through
regularization, property owners in unplanned
settlements can acquire short term renewable
residential licenses which they can use to access

44

INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS AND FINANCE
IN DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA

loans for housing improvement from fnancial
institutions.

Trough the use of local funds and without
support from external donors, the government
has regularized a number of informal
settlements in Dar es Salaam and some
upcountry towns. Property owners in these
settlements can acquire short term residential
licenses. In addition, WAT Human Trust
in Hanna Nassif, has gone a step further
by facilitating property owners to acquire
long term title deeds. In both cases, they are
required to pay for the costs of preparing the
land ownership documents. So far, few of the
property owners in the regularized settlements
have come forward to take their residential
licenses. Likewise, only a handful of people
have taken up their title deeds in Hanna Nassif.
Te slow speed in taking up the licences and
title deeds seem to suggest that even in these
new attempts of providing tenure security cost
recovery is still a problem.

While regularized settlements are still faced
with cost recovery issues, the story is totally
diferent in the Surveyed and Serviced Plots
Project which was also funded entirely from
local resources. Cost recovery is very high and
the approach is replicable.

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