15,000 to 20,000 people lived in and around the lake
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
The company fills the lake, flooding the houses;the population, with NGO support, starts negotiations
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
• 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?
3. Sharing land in Borei Keila Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Borei Keila was part ofthe Olympic Village forthe ‘63 SEA GamesPeople occupied itafter the overthrow ofthe Khmer Rouge
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
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
The excluded families battled with the police, but their houses were eventually destroyedIt is unknown wherethose who left went;“their departuresolved the problem”
Three squatter communitiesof 180 families lived alongRama IX Road in the 1980s
When the owner wanted to develop the land in1989, the people had to leave
They found land forsale in the urban fringeand bought it usingmoney from thedeveloper and loansand subsidy from NHA
20 years laterThe question is: who benefited, who lost?
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
?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
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
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?
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
The poor understand the benefits of titledproperty, but some poor have other priorities:1. cash money2. income and employment3. shelter4. titled property
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
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
Evaluations measuring living standards some years after project completion are rareMost evaluations count outputs, not outcomes
It is easier to count “number of units built” than to measure improvements in living standards