Government role in the development of housing for low-income households in Mbale Municipality: A case of Malukhu Housing Estate
This study was undertaken to find out and explicate Government role in the development of housing for low-income households in Mbale municipality with particular focus on Malukhu Housing Estate. The specific objectives of the study were: (a) to investigate the implementation principles (Enabling approach) used by the urban authority in the development of Malukhu housing estate; (b) to explore the influence of Mbale urban authority in the delivery of houses for the low-income households; (c) to examine the role of central and local governments in the development of housing for low-income households in Mbale municipality; and (d) to suggest ways of improving the delivery of housing for low-income households in relation to current policy and practice in Mbale municipality. The study was to assess the responsibility of the government in the delivery of housing for low-income households in Mbale municipality. Unfortunately still there are mushrooming slums as a result of lack of decent, adequate and affordable housing for low-income households. To achieve the above stated objectives, various methods and tools were applied such as face to face interviews, focus group discussions, questionnaires, photography and observation. Malukhu Housing Estate was developed on the basis of enabling approach and used a design prototype for construction of 500 housing units. The housing development rate is slower than the population growth, creating a housing deficit of 3,200 units. 60% (39,016 people) of the municipality population of 92,863 live in slums covering 335 acres of land who are poor. The slums have poor environment, unsafe drinking water and poor infrastructure. The central government, Mbale municipality, DANIDA, ADRA and the Community united in the development of Malukhu housing estate. DANIDA funded the project as a loan of building materials which was to be paid back for a period of 10 years. Some Malukhu estate houses are under transformation indicating that 500 housing units are not enough for the households. There is lack of public land and funds and corruption among some stakeholders have hindered the development of low-cost housing in Mbale municipality. In order to achieve adequate, decent and affordable housing for low-income households in Mbale municipality, the authorities should encourage high rise buildings and use of condominium system as well as self help projects with full participation of the households accompanied by acquiring skills and also save some funds for their own housing development; there should be cheap and effective technology; easy acquisition of land for housing development and provide subsidies on building materials.