Why Affordable Housing for All may remain a mirage


Whereas man’s basic needs are; food, clothing, and shelter.  Amongst them all, shelter is more prominent and it remains the most challenging to come by. The need for shelter supercede the others since the other needs will be rendered useless in the absence of shelter because there will be no place of comfort and safekeeping. When a man has shelter, he is said to have found a base, hence from thence, he can pursue the rest of his needs with the assurance that whatever he gets can be kept safe under his shelter as he hunts for another. Affordable Housing has continued to plague man

The need for shelter is so prominent because shelter keeps both the man, the rest of his needs and his progeny, shelter gives the man a balance, otherwise he is just an object floating in space.

Lack of Shelter; a Global Phenomenon

From the high and magnificent towers in New York to the edifying structures in London via the high rise towers in Dubai, there are slums and suburb in every nook and crannies where the poor live around this glorified cities, yet there are those who don’t have at all, the destitute, the poorest of the poor this is the problem of shelter.
And as stated in Habitat III Issue Paper “Globally, a billion new houses are needed by 2025 to accommodate 50 million new urban dwellers per year; costs are estimated at USD 9 to USD 11 trillion by 2025.”

Man’s greed as a major factor

Oftentimes its beats one’s imagination why some live in affluence while others live in abject poverty, the issue of shelter is not different, hence the reason many live in glorious and magnificent towers which stands in sharp contrast to the shabby and gory dehumanizing sight of the slums and suburb where the poor and destitute live in almost every city of the world; whereas there are those who have no place to lay their head year in year out, others have houses locked up which they visit ones in years and spend a maximum of seven days, this is term inequality a dignified language for shear wickedness. If humans will be humane to their fellow humans, I am certain that 50% of the problem of shelter will disappear with the snap of a finger.

Most government and world institution are reactive instead of being proactive

Plans to provide affordable housing are often reactive, a kind of medicine after death, such that these plans often fall short of future statistics, hence the moment they took off, the figures of housing needs had doubled and such plans become obsolete and often times abandoned, the alarming truth remains that the victims are not drafted into the plans, thus the rich who cannot feel the pains in any way always makes up the committee and list of contractors who will not hesitate to abandon the plans when it becomes difficult in their view.
“When dwellers control the major decisions and are free to make their own contribution to the design, construction or management of their housing, both the process and the environment produced stimulate individual and social well-being.” John F C Turner, Freedom to Build, 1972

Providing Affordable Housing for All

Any government or institution that sincerely wish to solve the problem of housing, must look inward in the derivation of raw materials for housing construction, involve the local people of the community so as to cut cost and ensure the continuous sustenance of such project, like it happened in Chile and Thailand,  this will go a long way in providing shelter for many with little funding. Instead, most governments do the reverse, they only embark on such projects for the sake of awarding contracts to contractors.
mud brick houses

Involving the use of Local Materials

To achieve Affordable Housing for all, builders must begin to look inward at manufacturing their own local material in line with what is obtainable around the locality which will help  in cost reduction, rather than look in one direction of brick from concrete, there is the need for a shift to culture and reference must be made to how our ancestors use to build, for instance in Africa some cultures used mud in building and most of these buildings are still doing fine till date, this implies that mud could be a better substitute for concrete when  properly researched and developed using indigenous technology, and when this is done, the locals will appreciate this kind of houses more as it will remind them of who they are.  
Read also: some-basic amenities to consider before paying for an apartment