The Zambian Urban Housing Sector Profile was launched last week by the Minister for Local Government and Housing Prof. Nkandu Luo.
Attending the launch were representatives from national and local governments, utility companies, NGOs, civil society, traditional leaders, donor organizations, the UN Resident Coordinator, private sector housing developers, financial institutions, professional institutions, and academia.
In her remarks Minister Luo underscored that safe and healthy housing features high on Zambia's national development agenda. "Housing is key to development. This profile – and I can promise you it's not going to gather dust – will help us deal with the issues and revisit our policies. This profile will be our Bible in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing."
The Profile findings demonstrate the great need for more housing at scale, at a cost that the majority of Zambians can afford. Business as usual is not an option to meet the projected housing demand. One dwelling needs to be built every 2 minutes for the coming two decades to meet demand from urbanisation and population growth. This enormous need means that the cadastral system, plot sizes, building regulations, planning, and materials supply and registration systems all need new approaches that are pro-poor and speedy in implementation.
The Zambia Housing Profile was undertaken as an activity in the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) in an effort to better understand the challenges facing Zambians living in slums and informal settlements, particularly the obstacles to accessing adequate and affordable housing. Through its policy advice and technical support in the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP), UN-Habitat is supporting the work of the Ministry.