Access to Land for Housing in Uganda
Access to land for Housing in Uganda:
Secure access to land is critical to improving livelihoods of poor people in regard to production and access to decent shelter. In Uganda notably in urban communities land markets are facing enormous competition and this is driving up the cost of housing to the point where even the most minimal standard of informal sector housing is unaffordable to the poor. Limited access to land and poor tenure systems has led to increasing illegal settlements in form of slums mostly in poor drained areas since most poor people in urban areas is an option they can afford. There is need to put up mechanisms for these groups to be able to access land for decent shelter. Some of the ways in which different stakeholders in the sector can explore in this regard include:
Most countries have legislation that enables governments to purchase or expropriate private land in the interest of the community at large, either at or below market prices, which they can use to enhance the supply of affordable land.
This is primarily used to acquire public or private land for development in advance of need at relatively cheap cost. It can be used to contain land speculation, redistribute land to the poor, and finance infrastructure investments. However, hers is also risk that it may generate land scarcity, causing land prices to raise and, consequently, increased informal land and housing development.
This typically involves the owner of the land occupied by a slum or informal settlement being given incentives to lease or sell part of their property to the occupants [squatters or tenants] below market price. The land owner then develops the most economically attractive part of the land. In this way, land sharing brings gains to both parties.
This entails land ownership and land use of fragmented adjoining sites being re-arranged to provide land for development purposes, e.g. slum upgrading or planned hosing development. It often includes negotiated and participatory solutions, and has the potential to work as a self financing technique.
Incremental land development strategies
Allowing people to settle on subserviced land and infrastructure to be installed incrementally, over time can increase the supply of affordable land for housing.
Transfer of development rights [TDR]
This can be used to generate low income housing on high value urban land through the participation of private land owners and developers. It works where land is at premium and where permitted densities for residential development are high enough to leave surplus land after building low income housing.
This is commonly used where governments want to enhance the use of land where slums have developed. however, it generally creates more problems than it solves, especially following forced evictions and demolition of slums, which destroys a substantial stock of conveniently located hosing which is affordable to the urban poor as well as livelihoods. It should therefore be avoided, unless absolutely necessary or justifiable.