The Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa

The Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF) is the housing finance division of FinMark Trust, a non-profit trust with a mission of ‘making financial markets work for the poor’. The vision of CAHF is to be a primary source of information and debate relating to affordable housing finance in Africa, with a special focus on the SADC region. Our work covers three main areas: understanding the housing asset, innovation in housing finance, and monitoring housing sector performance. As a way to promote housing finance sector development in Africa, CAHF regularly commissions research studies; hosts forums; strategy and discussion sessions and workshops; and participates in local and international conferences and debates on housing finance. As a result, the Centre has become a credible source of information, thought leadership, and a point of contact for housing finance practitioners in both the public, private and NGO sectors, including private companies, donor agencies, policy makers and other stakeholders across the African continent. The Centre also provides strategic and secretarial support to the African Union for Housing Finance.

Read more: http://www.housingfinanceafrica.org/

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A Slum Insight

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SA Students: Slum Upgrade Fieldtrip

South African Cities Network. September 2012.  The main theme of the Inclusive Cities programme revolves around whether residents have the opportunities and capacities to share equitably in the social benefits of city life. The programme objective is to enable cities to address the socio-economic challenges of South Africa’s segregated cities.

SA Students take filedtrip to Kenya to study comparative approaches to slum upgrade
“South African Cities Network contributed funding alongside the NRF and Wits University to support a group of Masters students’ fieldtrip to Nairobi, Kenya in September 2012.”
The group of 15 were students in the Wits Masters of the Built Environment in the field of Housing (MBE Housing) and some were in the MSc Development Planning taking housing electives. The selected students got to participate in various activities during the four-day trip to Nairobi:
Wednesday, 12-Sep-2012: Visits to Kibera settlement and Sanitary Facilities Project : Bio Center Innovations.
Thursday, 13-Sep-2012: Visits to Nachu (National Cooperative Housing Union) Office and UNHabitat.
Friday, 14-Sep-2012: Participation in “Re-Imagining Kenyan Urban Modernity: Symposium on the Slums Question in 21st Century,” a conference on slum upgrading & prevention policy hosted by the University of Nairobi and Pamoja Trust at the United Kenya Club.
Saturday, 15-Sep-2012: Visits to Mathare Valley and Kambi Moto in Huruma.

In addition to the invaluable learning experiences of the fieldtrips, the participating students had the opportunity to present papers at the symposium alongside Kenyan academics, practitioners and civil society activists. They are now being expected to develop these papers further into publications.
Pedagogically, a visit to Nairobi seemed relevant from several perspectives. Nairobi, as the host of UN-Habitat, has been at the centre of third world housing debates in the literature since the 1980s.

Its government, similarly to that of South Africa, is developing ‘slum’ upgrading policy and gradually moving into implementation, while also striving for world class city infrastructure and facilities.
A robust debate exists on the relevance of different approaches to housing and informal settlement upgrading and the challenges in managing existing low income housing stock.
A first-hand experience of the ‘slum’ and housing environments and of the policy debates is an invaluable experience that will place this group of students in a better position to navigate the difficult world of housing/human settlements policy development in the countries in which they pursue their professional careers.
The fieldtrip was led by Professor Marie Huchzermeyer of the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand, and associated with the university’s longstanding working relationship with the University of Nairobi’s School of Architecture, Design and Development.

The following field-trip reports were produced:

Perspective on Stormwater Drainage Issues in low-income human settlements – By Olumuyiwa B. Adegun
Perspective on Diverging Approaches to Slum Upgrading – By Lene Le Roux
Perspective on Non-conventional Management Practices between Landlords and Tenants – By Josephine Peace Enninful
Slum upgrading initiatives and their impacts on livelihoods – By Pumla Bafo
Report on Conference on slum upgrading & prevention policy – By Laura Burocco
Report on Visits to Mathare Valley & Kambi Moto in Huruma – By Laura Burocco
Report on Nachu Office and UNHabitat Office – By Laura Burocco

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Annie Kelly – Bangladesh’s Urbanisation Creating a Healthcare Black Hole

The Guardian. September, 18, 2012.

In 1901, the total population of the Bangladeshi areas of British India was less than 2%. Now, more than a century later, urban planners are predicting the country’s future will be one of sprawling, interconnected metropolises with a largely urban population moving between hundreds of cities and large towns.

Last year, the national census showed that out of a population of more than 150 million, just under 30% live in the rapidly expanding cities and towns, with the urban population increasing about 6% a year as millions of people leave rural areas in search of work.

Read more: Bangladesh’s Urbanisation Creating a Healthcare Black Hole

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Clinton O. Aigbavboa and Prof. Wellington D. Thwala – Housing Experience of South African Low-Income Beneficiaries

Clinton O. Aigbavboa., PhD Candidate and Prof. Wellington D. Thwala., PhD., Eng. – University of Johannesburg – Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.

Since the inception of the South Africa Government Housing Subsidy Scheme to solve the countries housing problem for the disadvantaged and low income groups, there is limited information available to ascertain the beneficiaries experience since they have been living in the subsidized housing units. This paper presents an evaluation of the post occupancy experience of Housing Subsidy beneficiaries in the Gauteng province of South Africa. It is an evaluation of the occupant’s experience since the inception of the policy to date, which is born out of the lack of POE monitoring. The paper present finding on the Socio- economic/demographic profile of the occupants since the housing units were allocated to them. Also, an evaluation of the right to housing is done, to ascertain if the right to housing as contained in the South Africa Constitution is being realized through the subsidized housing units. Others includes the level of beneficiaries’ satisfaction/dissatisfaction, beneficiaries’ home usage and the effect of the housing subsidy scheme on the present demand of housing in the country, since the government has approved housing subsidies for 3.1 million households and constructed over one and a half million housing units. Read more

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Attraction and Relationships – The Journey from Initial Attachments to Romantic Love

LarsAttraction1

Hauptbahnhof Berlin

Many years ago two boys were walking home from school. They were seven years old, lived in the same neighborhood, but went to different grade schools. Although living close to each other they had not met before running into each other on this day on the road leading up the hill to their neighborhood. Both seemed quite determined to assert themselves that day, and soon they began pushing each other that gradually turned to wrestling, and attempts to dominate. After what seemed hours, the two little boys were still rolling down the surrounding hills as the sun was going down. Neither succeeded in achieving victory that day. In fact, they never again exchanged blows but became the best of friends. Today it is more than 50 years later, and their friendship has endured time and distance. Friendship is like a rusty coin; all you need to do is polish it at times!

In this essay we shall examine the research on attachment, attraction and relationships. The intrinsic interest in these fields by most people is shared by social psychologists, and attachment, attraction, and love relationships constitute one of the most prolific areas of investigation in social psychology. The early attachment theory advanced by Bowlby (1982) emphasized the importance of the field when he suggested that our attachments to parents to a large extent shape all succeeding relationships in the future. Other research focus on exchange and communal relationships and point to the different ways we have of relating to each other. The importance of relationships cannot be overemphasized since we as humans have a fundamental need to belong. Relationships also contribute to the social self as discussed in the book, and effects social cognition discussed in the same (see: at the end of this article). The variables that determine attraction may be understood theoretically as functions of a reward perspective.

The importance of relationships is demonstrated by findings that show that among all age groups relationships are considered essential to happiness (Berscheid, 1985; Berscheid & Reis, 1998). The absence of close relationships makes the individual feel worthless, powerless, and alienated (Baumeister & Leary, 1995; Stroebe & Stroebe, 1996). Our very humanity is defined by our relationships (Bersheid & Regan, 2005).

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