Rental Housing: An Essential Option for the Urban Poor in Developing Countries

This report does not make an attempt to claim that renting is anything but a partial answer to the housing problems that so many people in so many human settlements both in developed and developing countries are facing. Nor does it deny that rental accommodation is often inadequate, or contest that many of the buildings in which tenants and sharers live would fail any conscientious housing inspection. The report is in fact pragmatic rather than visionary. Governments should not close their eyes to reality. They should not perpetuate the myth of the achievability of universal homeownership. Instead, they should accept that millions of households live in rental housing and that at some point in their lives most people need rental accommodation. Governments should thus modify the regulatory framework, develop credit Programs and other forms of assistance to support housing production, with a view to creating more rental housing and to improve the existing stock. To put it directly, many politicians should change their attitudes regarding current housing policies, and should try to do something practical to help those members of their society who live in rental housing, as well as the ones who can provide those dwellings.

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