A Framework For Redevelopment Of Low In-Come Residential Neighbourhoods: A Case Study Of Silanga, Kibera

Kenya like many Developing countries face high rate of urbanization with consequential effect of rapid mushrooming of low in-come neighbourhoods, which are many cases are not provided with the basic infrastructure and services. The problem of the study was that the low neighbourhood redevelopment strategies by the government have been inadequate in addressing the housing conditions of the low in-come earners and the urban poor. The study seeked to examine the broad framework for sustainable redevelopment of low in-come urban residential neighbourhoods in Kenya, with a case study of Silanga village, Kibera. This was done by employing both first and second-degree methods of data collection, which were then, analyzed using descriptive; content and statistical analyses and later on presented in form of text, photograph, and frequency tables. The study found out that Kenya’s strategies towards redevelopment of low in-come neighbourhoods have not in many instances, achieved the goal of providing decent housing to the urban poor. Noted failures include: lack of involvement of beneficiaries during policy formulation stage; demolition and evictions resulting to slum dwellers being relocated to some other parts of the city and in other instances, slum dwellers being left in “limbo” without alternative housing and land arrangements or compensation; lack of sustainable financial mechanisms; no contribution to poverty reduction or problems related to unemployment and land security.

The study concluded that the major obstacles to sustainable redevelopment of low in-come neighbourhoods in Kenya still remains: inadequate financial mechanisms, lack of access to land, cumbersome shelter delivery systems, lack of communal finance for shelter development and maintenance, high cost of building materials, insufficient infrastructure provision, maintenance and rehabilitation mechanisms, high urbanisation rate, environmental degradation and weak institutional co-ordination and failure to include the private organizations as well as civil society in the redevelopment programmes. The study proposed two strategy frameworks for sustainably redeveloping low in-come residential neighbourhoods, which included Financial frameworks and policy and Legislative Reforms frameworks.

The proposed financial strategy focuses on two aspects – building the financial assets and capacities of the low in-come earners and building the financial management skills of the affected residents. These financial capabilities are expected to strengthen the ability of the urban poor to engage in meaningful partnerships with city and state authorities as well as formal financial institutions, when they are upgrading their homes at the same location or being resettled at a different location. Under the policy and legislative framework, the study proposed a number of strategies for redeveloping low in-come residential neighbourhoods. These included: decentralization and centralization; privatisation and public investment; deregulation and new regulations; demand-driven and supply-driven development strategies.

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