Some 65 experts gathered in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe recently to discuss ways of improving housing delivery for the poor as part of a new Malawi National Housing Policy.
The experts included representatives from national and local governments, utility companies, NGOs, civil society, traditional leaders, donor organizations, private sector housing developers, financial institutions, professional institutions, and academia attended the function.
They met 22-23 April to discuss a new housing profile based in a set of field surveys and housing sector studies undertaken during the last six months by a multi-disciplinary team of national and international experts supported by UN-HABITAT.
The experts agreed that the findings of the Housing Sector Profile and the identified priorities should be reflected in the National Housing Policy that is to be adopted soon.
The Housing Profile methodology was developed by UN-HABITAT’s Housing Policy Section as an analytical tool to provide governments and other actors with a comprehensive assessment of their country’s housing delivery system. The analysis covers the mechanisms to access land, housing finance, basic infrastructure and services, building materials, technology and labour. It identifies gaps and bottlenecks hindering the housing market to work properly, particularly for the urban poor. The Profile highlights constraints and opportunities in the existing policy, institutional and regulatory frameworks and provides the necessary knowledge for the design of appropriate policy responses.
The team which carried out the Malawi Housing Sector Profile interviewed key organisations in the housing sector, visited sites where housing is being developed, undertook household sample surveys, reviewed relevant documentation and legislation, and discussed with decision-makers, community representatives and traditional leaders.
In her remarks at the end of the stakeholder meeting, Ms. Ivy Luhanga, the Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development underscored that housing and urban development feature high on Malawi’s national development agenda. It was against this background that in October 2008 a stand-alone Ministry of Housing and Urban Development was established. Through its policy advice, UN-HABITAT is supporting the work of this new Ministry.
UN-HABITAT will support further Housing Sector Profile Studies in Uganda, Senegal and Tunisia. This programme is funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada.