The Challenges

Preventing informal settlement growth requires the provision of affordable legal urban land in physically planned settlements. If rural in-migrants are provided access to legal and physically organized land, such settlements can be upgraded over time and become an integral part of the urban fabric. Currently there is almost no formal market of legal urban plots for the urban poor, with the informal settlement land & housing market filling the gap.

The market for the provision of affordable land for the urban poor is considerable. The DWN research conducted in the towns of Otjiwarongo, Gobabis and Oshakati suggest that in these medium sized urban centres alone, annual demand for low cost urban land is in the range of 300-600 plots per year. In Windhoek, the demand is more than  3000 plots per year. If urban expansion is to be brought under control, and informal growth to be transformed into formal growth, this demand must be met. Currently, no urban policy, program, guidelines or model come close to providing an effective solution.