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Kioe Sheng Yap, Cardiff University, United Kingdom (Invited Speaker) on "Housing the Urban Poor in Asia’s Globalized Cities:"

Kioe Sheng Yap, Cardiff University, United Kingdom (Invited Speaker) on "Housing the Urban Poor in Asia’s Globalized Cities:"

Published in: Business, Real Estate

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  • 1. INPUT 2012 Cagliari, 10 May 2012 Housing the Urban Poor in Asia’s Globalized Cities:Evaluating Outcomes, not Outputs Yap Kioe Sheng
  • 2. 1. Introduction
  • 3. For decades, the poor have informally housedthemselves. Unable to offer an alternative, the authorities mostly tolerated informal housing
  • 4. The United Nationsestimates that over500 million peoplelive in inadequatehousing in urbanareas of Asia
  • 5. As cities develop, the poor are evictedEvicted families often face serious hardship
  • 6. Evictions follow a pattern:1. reduce the population a. soft or hard pressure to leave b. bribing of community leaders2. offer of compensation a. in cash b. in land c. in housing unit
  • 7. When the populationresist eviction, land-owner and residentsmay compromiseThe landowner andpopulation decide todivide the land: landsharing
  • 8. Today, governmentswant world-classcities without slumsLand owners want tooptimize land valuesInvestors seek land toinvest in real estateLand is too valuablefor housing the poor
  • 9. Because of todays’high land values,developers preferto give housingunits in the projectrather than landThis looks like anattractive solution,but is it?
  • 10. 2. Eviction from Boeung Kak Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • 11. Boeung Kak Lake
  • 12. 15,000 to 20,000 people lived in and around the lake
  • 13. US$1.5 billionThe Municipality of Phnom Penh leases thearea to a private company for redevelopmentThe residents protest and claim that they hadmore rights to the land than the company
  • 14. The company fills the lake, flooding the houses;the population, with NGO support, starts negotiations
  • 15. The company offers house-owners (but notthe renters) three options:1. cash payment of US$8,500 per family2. a plot of land with basic shelter, 15kms from the city centre + US$8503. some form of housing inside the project, once it is finished
  • 16. • Most left without or with a cash payment• Some moved to the resettlement area• Some waited for inclusion in the projectWhy did they leave and where did they go?Does their departure solve the problem?
  • 17. 3. Sharing land in Borei Keila Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • 18. Borei Keila was part ofthe Olympic Village forthe ‘63 SEA GamesPeople occupied itafter the overthrow ofthe Khmer Rouge
  • 19. Public-private partnership arrangement2.0 ha 1740 apartments of 4x12 m in 10 buildings for the original population2.6 ha commercial development by a private company10.0 ha to be returned to the government
  • 20. The project was not completely successful:• Some 300 families were never included• The company built only 8 blocks leaving 350 families homeless• An estimated 400 families had (illegally) sold their right to a unit to others
  • 21. The excluded families battled with the police, but their houses were eventually destroyedIt is unknown wherethose who left went;“their departuresolved the problem”
  • 22. 4. Re-development in Dharavi Mumbai, India
  • 23. Source: Google Dharavi in Mumbai: • 216 ha of prime land • 0.6-1.0 million people • 100,000 housing units • 5,000 industrial units
  • 24. The government isinviting private bids tore-develop Dharavi:• build housing for the residents on- site• build real estate for sale on the rest of the landExpected cost: US$ 3billion
  • 25. Phase 1 [sector 5]• 57,000 apartments of 30 m2 in 20- storey buildings• 25 m2 of space per business owners• conditions: house owner in Dharavi before 2000Is this a good idea?
  • 26. Not to be included in the project:• Renters (30-40% of the population)• Arrivals after 2000 (30% of the population)Their departure would solve some difficultproblems, but where will they go?
  • 27. 5. Evaluating Suwan Prasit Bangkok, Thailand
  • 28. Three squatter communitiesof 180 families lived alongRama IX Road in the 1980s
  • 29. When the owner wanted to develop the land in1989, the people had to leave
  • 30. They found land forsale in the urban fringeand bought it usingmoney from thedeveloper and loansand subsidy from NHA
  • 31. 20 years laterThe question is: who benefited, who lost?
  • 32. Housing conditions of many (not all) familiesimproved in Suwan Prasit, but• many families from Rama IX never came• some families from Rama IX came and leftSome left for positive reasons, but some wereforced to leave; it is unknown where they went
  • 33. ?Number of families on Rama IX 180RoadNumber of plots demarcated in 100Suwan PrasitNumber of plots allocated to 44Rama IX familiesNumber of Rama IX families 35living in Suwan Prasit in 1992
  • 34. Plot Plot ownershipType of owner allocation 1992 2011Rama IX allottees 44 35 27Other allottees 56 28 11New-comers - - 54Empty or locked - 37 8Squatter houses - - 6Total 100 100 106
  • 35. Plots originally belonging to Rama IX allotteesOriginal owner 22 +Inherited after death of original owner 5 +Sold after death of original owner 1 +/-Sold right-to-a-plot to someone else 5 -Returned to NHA due to distance to job 1 -Sold and left 5 +/-Sold when unable to repay loan 5 -Total 44
  • 36. 6. What are the long-term outcomes?
  • 37. The World Bank and the Asian DevelopmentBank have a resettlement policy:“the resettlement programme will improve, orat least maintain, pre-project living standards”• Did living standards improve for people from Boeung Kak, Borei Keila, Suwan Prasit?• Who benefited and who did not?• What about people in Dharavi?
  • 38. Economists like de Soto argue that the poorneed titled property (a plot, an apartment)They can mortgage the titled property to obtainbusiness loans and become capitalistsThus, titled property brings not only shelter, butalso capital, income, employment
  • 39. The poor understand the benefits of titledproperty, but some poor have other priorities:1. cash money2. income and employment3. shelter4. titled property
  • 40. Some families cannot live under the threat ofeviction; they leave without any compensationSome families leave with a cash compensationso they can repay a debt or make purchasesSome families have the resources to wait forthe opportunity of a plot or an apartment
  • 41. A plot of land can be available quickly, but itmay be far away. Too far away?An apartment on-site will take time to develop;is it worth waiting for?Some families will not take a risk, but sell theirright and leave with some money in hand
  • 42. Evaluations measuring living standards some years after project completion are rareMost evaluations count outputs, not outcomes
  • 43. It is easier to count “number of units built” than to measure improvements in living standards
  • 44. Thank You