Housing Provision and Evaluation: Effectiveness of Low-Income Public Housing in Sana ‘A (Rep. of Yemen)

  • Abdullah Mohammed Al-A'Bed

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    During the last few decades most developing countries have experienced a rapid growth in population which has resulted in a rapid urbanisation in the form of an expansion of existing towns, coupled with an increasing dependence upon developed countries for implementation of new housing programmes.

    In Yemen, efforts to fulfil the basic needs of people,which includes housing, has been placed in the hands of public agencies. In the capital city, Sana'a, the responsibility of providing decent homes to the urban low-income households, especially the urban poor, is undertaken by the Ministry of Urban Planning and Housing (MUPH). In the late 1970s the MUPH was charged with supervising a housing scheme master plan for the five major Yemeni cities. The plan was proposed by the American Consultants Berger/Kampsax (1978a) and commissioned by the Yemeni government. The Master Plan studies of Sana'a identified several potential housing problems as a result of the increasing demand for new housing caused by rapid population growth.

    As stated in the Housing objectives of Sana'a's Master Plan (1978-2000) (B/K, 1978a), the Master Plan was intended not only to ensure sufficient housing supply but also to ensure that all future housing developments meet acceptable standards in terms of construction, and provision of amenities and facilities both within the dwellings and in the surroundings. However, the current investigation has shown that the plan was altered and delayed.

    Since 1980 MUPH has been executing numerous housing schemes to reduce the housing deficit. This policy has led to the construction of many new housing projects, very often built by foreign contractors with little appreciation of the local and traditional materials and life styles and requirements of the local people.

    This research monitors housing provisions and evaluates the existing low-income housing provision in Sana'a, the Capital of the Republic of Yemen. It uses three housing schemes for the investigation which are the Sites-and-Services Scheme, the Upgrading Scheme and the Bank Loan Scheme. It evaluates low-income public housing through the application of the effectiveness model developed by the researcher.

    After the evaluation process, it is found that the Upgrading Scheme, which was built by the local residents using local materials, is the most effective scheme. This suggests that maximisation of self-help methods, and the provision of infrastructure by the housing authorities leads to minimisation of housing development and consequently to more effective housing schemes.

    The research is concluded by suggesting a set of guidelines, or development programme, for the design of new urban housing projects which fulfils both the requirements of low-income people and increases the housing quality of the built environment.
    Date of AwardNov 1996
    Original languageEnglish

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