Improving access to housing in Dar es Salaam: ACRC research in the national press

Feb 21, 2023

Initial research findings from ACRC on housing in Dar es Salaam feature in a recent article in Tanzanian national newspaper, The Guardian.

The article highlights concerns and policy recommendations emerging from a stakeholders’ meeting held in Dar es Salaam on 1 February. ACRC housing domain researchers from the Centre for Community Initiatives (CCI) met with local stakeholders, to disseminate their initial findings on the challenges facing the urban housing sector. They called for new policies to improve housing provision.

While Tanzania is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, many families struggle to find adequate and affordable housing. Research revealed that over 70% of Dar es Salaam residents are living in environmentally challenging informal settlements. They experience overcrowding, poor provision of water and sanitation, putting health at risk, with inadequate access to healthcare and education services. Due to the unaffordability of planned land for housing, over half of the city’s residents are tenants, many living with the precarity of eviction threats.

Research findings highlighted the need for government strategies to prioritise construction of more good quality affordable housing. They urged the Tanzanian government to focus on policies for land formalisation and reduction in building material costs, which are significant barriers to affordable housing projects. Research also highlighted the need for the National Housing Corporation to work on improving existing street housing.

Stakeholders said that local government leaders lack the power to prevent informal construction, which leads to growth of informal settlements. They stressed the need for ward-level local land planning officers to facilitate service provision, as well as for social housing subsidies. 

Investment in housing not only improves residents’ living conditions, but also provides employment opportunities in building and infrastructure construction as well as services installation. Tim Ndezi, CCI executive director and ACRC’s uptake and informal settlements domain lead for Dar es Salaam, highlighted that increasing the provision of inclusive, affordable housing will lead to sustainable transformation of cities and communities, fighting poverty and other risks. The study aims to shine light on the challenges and devise solutions that government and stakeholders can adopt.

Read the full article here.

Read more about ACRC housing domain research.

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Note: This article presents the views of the author featured and does not necessarily represent the views of the African Cities Research Consortium as a whole.

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Header photo credit: Moiz Husein / iStock. Aerial view of a settlement in Dar es Salaam.