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Housing and Urbanization in Africa : Unleashing a Formal Market Process

ACCESS TO FINANCE ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS AFFORDABILITY AFFORDABLE HOUSING ARCHITECT ARREARS ASSET ACCUMULATION ASSET CLASS BANKING SYSTEM BANKS BORROWER BRANCH NETWORK BUILDING MATERIALS BUSINESS ACTIVITY CAPITAL COSTS CENTRAL BANK CITIES CLAIMANTS COMMERCIAL PROPERTY COMMUNITIES CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY CONSTRUCTION SECTOR CONSUMER GOODS COORDINATION FAILURE COORDINATION FAILURES CORPORATE GOVERNANCE CORRUPTION COUNTRYSIDE CREDIT HISTORY CREDITOR CREDITORS DEBT DEBT SERVICE DEFAULTS DEPOSIT DEPOSIT LIABILITIES DEPOSITOR DEPOSITS DEREGULATION DEVELOPING COUNTRIES E-BANKING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS ECONOMIC GROWTH ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ECONOMIC STABILITY EFFICIENT MARKET ELECTRICITY EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES ENTREPRENEURS EQUIPMENT EXPATRIATES EXTERNALITIES FINANCIAL INNOVATION FINANCIAL INSTABILITY FINANCIAL MARKET FIXED COSTS FORECLOSURE GOVERNMENT BORROWING GOVERNMENT OWNERSHIP GOVERNMENT POLICIES HAZARD HOME OWNERSHIP HOMES HOUSE CONSTRUCTION HOUSEHOLD INCOMES HOUSEHOLD INVESTMENT HOUSEHOLDS HOUSES HOUSING HOUSING CONSTRUCTION HOUSING COSTS HOUSING FINANCE HOUSING INFRASTRUCTURE HOUSING MARKET HOUSING NEEDS HOUSING POLICIES HOUSING POLICY HOUSING STANDARDS HOUSING STOCK HOUSING SUBSIDIES HYGIENE ILLIQUIDITY INCOME LEVELS INFLATION INFORMAL FINANCE INFORMAL HOUSING INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT INTEREST RATES INTERNATIONAL BANK INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS INTERVENTION LABOR MARKET LAND OWNERSHIP LAND PRICES LAND RIGHTS LAND VALUE LAND VALUES LANDLORD LEGAL RIGHTS LEGAL TITLE LENDER LENDERS LIENS LIVING CONDITIONS LIVING STANDARDS LOAN LOCAL BUSINESSES LOCAL GOVERNMENT LOCAL MARKETS LOW-RISK COLLATERAL MACROECONOMIC MANAGEMENT MARKET FAILURE MARKET INTEREST RATE MATURITIES MONETARY FUND MORTGAGE MORTGAGE FINANCE MORTGAGE MARKET MORTGAGES NOMINAL INTEREST RATES NONPAYMENT OCCUPATION POLICY RESPONSE PORTS POST OFFICES PREJUDICE PRIVATE CONSTRUCTION PRIVATE INVESTMENT PRIVATE SECTOR PROPERTY AS COLLATERAL PUBLIC PUBLIC GOODS PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE PUBLIC INVESTMENT PUBLIC SPENDING PURCHASING POWER PURCHASING POWER PARITY REAL ESTATE REAL INTEREST REAL INTEREST RATE REGULATORY AUTHORITIES REGULATORY POLICIES REGULATORY POLICY REGULATORY STANDARDS RENT CONTROLS RENTING RENTS REPAYMENT REPAYMENT RATE REPAYMENT RATES REPAYMENTS RETURN RIGHTS OF OCCUPANCY RISK MANAGEMENT RISK OF DEFAULT ROADS RURAL AREAS RURAL DEVELOPMENT RURAL FINANCE SAVINGS SETTLEMENT SETTLEMENT PROCEDURES SETTLEMENTS SHANTYTOWN SLUM SLUMS SMALL BUSINESSES SOCIAL COHESION SQUATTER STOCK MARKETS STREETS TANGIBLE ASSET TAX TAX REVENUE TAX SYSTEM TAX SYSTEMS TAXATION TENANCY TRANSITION ECONOMIES UNEMPLOYMENT URBAN DEVELOPMENT URBAN ECONOMICS URBAN HOUSING URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE URBAN LAND URBAN PLANNING URBAN POLICY URBAN POPULATION URBAN POPULATIONS URBANIZATION VALUATION WASTE DISPOSAL WORKING CAPITAL YOUTH ZONING
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Africa
2014-06-25T19:45:00Z | 2014-06-25T19:45:00Z | 2014-05

The accumulation of decent housing matters both because of the difference it makes to living standards and because of its centrality to economic development. The consequences for living standards are far-reaching. In addition to directly conferring utility, decent housing improves health and enables children to do homework. It frees up women's time and enables them to participate in the labor market. More subtly, a home and its environs affect identity and self-respect. Commentary on the emergence of an African middle class has become common, but it is being defined in terms of discretionary spending and potential for consumer markets. A politically more salient definition of a middle class will be in terms of home ownership and the consequent stake in economic stability. This paper examines why such a process has not happened in Africa. The hypothesis is that the peculiarity of housing exposes it to multiple points of vulnerability not found together either in private consumer goods or in other capital goods. Each point of vulnerability can be addressed by appropriate government policies, but addressing only one or two of them has little payoff if the others remain unresolved. Further, the vulnerabilities faced by housing are the responsibility of distinct branches of government, with little natural collaboration. Unblocking multiple impediments to housing therefore requires coordination that can come only from the head of government: ministries of housing have neither the political weight nor the analytic capacity to play this role effectively. Yet in Africa, housing has never received such high political priority. This in turn is because the centrality of housing in well-being and of housing investment in development has not been sufficiently appreciated.

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