Session 11 - Governance

APA International Division


Thursday, November 5, 2015
4 p.m. - 5 p.m. CST

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Presentation 1: The Right of Return Policy in Housing for Canada

The creation of public housing projects through the North American Urban Renewal period had a tremendous impact on lower income households. The development of public housing projects resulted in many residents being forcefully moved out of their communities. The displacement faced by households resulted in the abrupt loss of social networks. Some 50 years later, the housing projects developed in the period of Urban Renewal are being demolished as part of a large scale public housing redevelopment initiative in the United States, called HOPE VI. The fear of displacement, and loss of community, has negatively framed attitudes towards redevelopment among social housing tenants. Tenants have been skeptical of the proposed benefits of redevelopment because of issues of displacement and loss of their community due to gentrification. Skepticism and fear of displacement from the community has prompted tenants and housing activists to call for a legal Right of Return. The Right of Return is an important policy that has been designed to ensure that social housing residents impacted by the redevelopment of their community have legal right to return to their home once redevelopment has been completed.  Previous research on public housing redevelopment has noted that very few tenants have been able to return to their community despite being given a Right of Return.  In Canada, a large scale public housing redevelopment plan of Canada?s oldest and largest public housing community was initiated in 2005. The redevelopment has placed an emphasis on giving tenants a legal Right of Return. Qualitative research has evaluated the effectiveness of Right of Return policy in Regent Park as implemented in the first two of five phases. Those results may be have application for subsequent phases in that Toronto redevelopment, and for other Canadian public housing redevelopment initiatives.

Presentation 2: Squatter Upgrading in Zambia

Squater Upgrading in Zambia
Housing in squatter settlements leaves much to be desired. It mainly consists of structures built with mudbricks and roofed with a mixture of roofing materials. However, it is not so much the composition of housing that is of the main concern. Rather, it is the lack of basic infrastructure and services, in addition to absence of tenure security that compounds the housing poverty of many of the urban population in Zambia. A review of literature shows that Brazil and Indonesia have succeeded through squatter upgrading, to introduce basic infrastructure and improve the living conditions of squatters. For squatter upgrading programmes to achieve the successes they have, it appears that both Brazil and Indonesia adopted an institutional approach – involvement of many institutions or stakeholders in the upgrading processes. This research responds to the Zambian government’s intention to upgrade squatter settlements as it pursues the vision of becoming a middle-income country by 2030. It research seeks to determine if an effective institutional framework exists and if it is adequate to initiate and support squatter settlements upgrading. As an exploratory qualitative inquiry, this research adopted a case study approach in which two towns located in different regions of the country were chosen. Using convenience sampling we further selected two squatter settlements from each of the towns as case study settlements. Using a combination of a variety of research data collection methods - literature review, documents analysis, in-depth interviews and observations, we collected for our research that aimed to examine the adequacy of the institutional framework to initiate and support squatter settlements upgrading. Findings from data gathered from four target groups - local governments, squatter residents, non-governmental organisations and financial institutions, show that there is a lack of national plan and funding; local councils lack financial capacities; lack of stakeholder involvement; poor relations between councils and ministry; weak regulatory frameworks; and general lack of political will. As such the existing institutional framework is not adequate for initiating and supporting squatter upgrading.