Women's access to urban land and credit for housing in Dar es Salaam: a case study of Sinza housing project

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University of Dar es Salaam
One quarter of the world's population, most of them in Third World Countries have inadequate shelter; they live in unplanned settlements. It is one of the results of rapid urbanisation caused by rural-urban migration. The problem is most acute for the low income population among whom women are the majority. Although all urban problems are interrelated, housing is usually considered to be the most important urban problem in Tanzania. The provision of decent housing for all Tanzanian citizens has long been an important objective for the Ruling Party and the Government. The post-colonial state has taken several steps-since independence to eradicate housing problems for the urban poor. Tanzania declared her intention of pursuing a socialist policy through the Arusha Declaration of 1967. Based on the Arusha Declaration all land had been nationalized and access to land is through a right of occupancy `granted' or `deemed'. In so far as the land policy is concerned, therefore, there are no restrictions to women to have lease holds or deemed rights of land. However as 80 percent of Tanzanian ethnic groups are patrilineal. Women are denied access to (and under customary land tenure. Encouraged by the World Bank to strengthen the countries capacity to producing housing at low cost, Tanzania initiated a number of National Sites-and Services Schemes and Squatter Upgrading Programs. One of the First Site-and Service to take off in Dar es Salaam is Sinza Housing Project. This study examines the problem of housing facing women in urban areas and focuses upon the Sinza Housing Project. Women in Tanzania are-slowly becoming more educated, mobile and independent in the economic sector. The study will try to discover how these women faired/benefited in this housing project particularly those with low income who are the majority. In Tanzania women are approximately 51 percent of the total population, however the national development policies including the housing policies over looked women's needs and priorities. A combination of historical and social-cultural factors has contributed to women's limited access to the means and tools of development, for example: education and training. Since education plays an important role n development: creating awareness. Securing employment lack of it. Pour women beaing behind also limits women capacity to obtain over the productive resources such as land, capital and labour. The evidence presented leads to the tentative conclusion that, so far at least ten per cent of the totoa plots are owned by women, that is, women have benefited. Although, the majority of them are of medium and high income which means the majority of women who are also poor are still not the beneficiaries of such services. The low income groups are faced with a number of bottlenecks which considerably hindered the achievements of the projects objectives.
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Housing, Finance, Housing policy, Women, Tanzania
Jaribu, I. F. (1993) Women's access to urban land and credit for housing in Dar es Salaam: a case study of Sinza housing project, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (