South Africa – The Psychological Strain of Living in Tin Can Town

Irin Global – Cape Town – 30 October 2012 (IRIN) – A recent academic study has identified a range of mental health disorders suffered by shack dwellers in South Africa’s Western Cape Province, from chronic insomnia to low self-esteem.

The study, The Impact of Living in Transitional Communities; The Experiences of People in Blikkiesdorp and Happy Valley, was conducted by the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). Because of budget considerations, the study was constrained to two settlements.
“The researchers did not have the resources to do large-scale interviews, so instead we set up four different focus groups of between 10 and 20 people living in Blikkiesdorp and another similar transit camp called Happy Valley. And we found there was a high level of correlation between the findings in each case,” Shaheed Mahomed, a CPUT civil engineer lecturer and Blikkiesdorp community activist told IRIN.
Among the mental health issues identified were depression, anxiety and panic attacks, chronic insomnia, anger and low self-esteem.

Read more: The Psychological Strain of Living in Tin Can Town

Irin Global – Humanitarian News and Analysis – A Service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humantarian Affairs

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Subir Roy – How to House the Urban Poor

Business Standard – October 30, 2012 – A new way of calculating the urban housing shortage in the country has yielded a remarkable insight. Urban India faces a duality. Even as there is a huge shortage, of 18.67 million houses, as many as 11.09 million are lying vacant and their number is growing. The latter is largely because many who are better off have barely-used second homes — some are holding on to houses for purely speculative reasons and many will not rent out for fear of being unable to get them back, courtesy rent control laws.

The good news is that in the last decade the urban housing stock has grown by 51 per cent. The bad news is that over 95 per cent of the housing shortage is accounted for by those at the bottom of the pyramid — economically weaker sections and low-income groupings. It is possible to argue that if you take care of urban poverty, the housing shortage will take care of itself.
But urban poverty is not easily banished. Poor people migrate to urban areas in search of jobs and remain there to get a higher income than what they would get in rural areas.

Read more: Subir Roy-How to House Urban Poor

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Avi Friedman: Thinking Outside The Box On Affordable Housing


The SFU Centre for Dialogue presents renowned international housing expert Dr. Avi Friedman, in collaboration with the Urban Development Institute, City of Vancouver, Social Planning and Research Council of BC, BC Non-Profit Housing Association and other partners.

Lecture Description:
Metro Vancouver’s many attributes make it a highly desirable place to live and invest. Unfortunately, that makes housing, whether rental or ownership, unaffordable for many of the region’s citizens. The need to think outside the box about lower-cost residential options has become an urgent priority. Renowned international housing expert Dr. Avi Friedman speaks about what’s making housing unaffordable in Metro Vancouver — as well as the direct and indirect contributions that affordable housing makes to communities. He describes potential housing strategies, including examples of local and international projects, that offer innovative affordable housing solutions for this region.

Keynote biography: Avi Friedman, Professor, McGill University School of Architecture

Dr. Avi Friedman received his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Town Planning from the Israel Institute of Technology, his Master’s Degree from McGill University, and his Doctorate from the University of Montréal. In 1988, he founded the Affordable Homes Program at the McGill School of Architecture where he teaches. He is known nationally and internationally for his housing innovation and in particular for the Grow Home and Next Home designs. He is the author of ten books and was a syndicated columnist for the CanWest Chain of daily newspapers. He is a practicing architect and the recipient of numerous awards including the Manning Innovation Award and the United Nations World Habitat Award. In the year 2000 he was selected by Wallpaper magazine as 1 of 10 people from around the world “most likely to change the way we live”. Read more

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Clara Lewis – SGNP Slum Rehab First Phase to be Completed in November

The Times of India. MUMBAI: The first phase of relocation and rehabilitation of slum-dwellers of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivli, will be completed next month. Five years after the government undertook the shifting of the slum-dwellers following a Bombay high court order, it will have shifted 11,500 slum-dwellers. “The last 1,600 families of the first phase have already been given the keys to their homes at Chandivali. They have been given a month to move out. On November 1, we shall begin demolition of their huts if they have not already done so,” said Sunil Limaye, chief conservator of forests, SGNP. The dwellings are spread over Dahisar, Kandivli, Malad and Mulund.

Read More: Lewis -First phase

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NationMaster – Compare Countries On Just About Anything

NationMaster is a vast compilation of data from hundreds of sources. Using the forms below, you can get maps and graphs on all kinds of statistics with ease. We want to be the web’s one-stop resource for country statistics on everything from obesity to murders.

Read more:  http://www.nationmaster.com/

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Pop Up Housing in Garages by Levitt Bernstein

www.dezeen.com.  October 25, 2012- Levitt Bernstein have recently been announced as winners from over 400 entries of the open international HOME competition run by Building Trust International.

The winning proposal uses temporary ‘pop-up’ structures to occupy redundant garages on existing housing estates in east London. HAWSE (Homes through Apprenticeships With Skills for Employment) was designed by Georgie Revell and Sarah Jenkinson in collaboration with a homeless charity and training academy. The intention is for the project to be delivered through an apprenticeship scheme with components manufactured off-site as a kit-of parts. The structures are quick to assemble and can be inhabited immediately with the components being demountable and reusable. The proposals not only offer a home but education opportunities in construction techniques, a way of regenerating street frontage and a practical interim solution between other development possibilities.

The competition brief asked for proposals to focus on low cost, single occupancy housing solutions in urban areas to respond to the deficit of affordable housing options. The competition had over 400 entries for both the professional and student categories and the judging panel was chaired by Building Trust, YMCA, Habitat for Humanity and Crash. Building Trust International launch their next humanitarian design competition on the 15th Oct focusing flood resistant housing in Cambodia.

Read more: Levitt Bernstein – Pop Up Housing

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