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|Keyword:||Homelessness & Housing|
The objective of the Million Housing Programme was to reach a larger number of households at a lower cost to the state, but with greater satisfaction to the occupants. The major question was how to reach this scale with limited financial and labour resources. The government encouraged people to build their own houses and settlements but to strengthen this process by providing support where it is needed.
Under its million Houses Programme (1984-1989) and the subsequent 1.5 Million Houses Programme (1989-1994), the Government of Sri Lanka has been making massive efforts for shanty upgrading and house improvement in urban low income communities. The approach was evidently characterised by community participation through enabling strategies. The Community Action Plan and Management approach sees people as the main resource for development rather than as an object of the development efforts or as mere recipients of benefits. The role of the Government through the National Housing Development Authority and the Urban Local Authorities, is to support this process where necessary. The CAP method consists of a structured series of workshops organised for community members who have expressed interests in improving their shanty settlement. Normally, an initial two-day workshop is held at a community centre within the settlement or at a temple or sometimes under trees), for about 30 representatives of the community to identify their socio-economic and physical issues and plan strategies to tackle these, followed up by a variety of one or half-day issue-specific workshops, depending upon the needs of the community and the stage of implementation; a workshop to strengthen the function of Community Development Councils (CDCs); a land regularization workshop for people to layout a block-out plan; a building guidelines workshop to formulate community-specific building codes; a housing information workshop for introduction of NHDA house loan packages; acommunity contract workshop familiarizing the community group with procedures to receive contract awards for minor infrastructure works; a women's enterprise support workshop to initiate group credit programme for income generating activities.
Under its million Houses Programme (1984-1989) and the subsequent 1.5 Million Houses Programme (1989-1994), the Government of Sri Lanka has been making massive efforts for shanty upgrading and house improvement in urban low income communities. Some innovative elements developed in connection with the CAP approach have now attracted world-wide attention. The include Community Contract System (contract award to CDC members for construction of basic amenities in thie own community). In 1988, UNCHS/DANIDA Country Programme in Sri Lanka was started and CAP methodology became fully operational. During the 3 year period 1988-1990 some 160 CAP workshops were conducted by NHDA's Urban Housing Division, covering 55 shanty areas mostly in the Colombo Area. This CAP methodology innovation has been replicated in other situations. It can be adapted to the rural development planning as well as plantation settlement sector too.
Mr. K.A.S. Gunasekera, Secretary
National Housing Development Authority
Urban Development Authority
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