An investigation of the right to adequate housing in urban Tanzania in light of the EAC treaty

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The university of Dar es Salaam
The increased demand of housing drives upwards real estate prices and rents making affordable housing completely inaccessible to the poor. The unprecedented rate of population growth in Tanzania is one of the alarming factors for determining the demand of the people to meet housing needs. It is against this background this study was premised on analysing the legal mechanisms in place and the extent to which they are sound and workable on the right to housing in urban Tanzania focusing largely on issues relating to housing supply, affordability and security of tenure. With regard to housing supply, the study examines actors in housing supply both in private sector generally and in public sector in a limited scope. Lack of favourable legal framework on land acquisition and title thereto especially of serviced plots as well as its control and disposition connotes a hindrance on the supply of houses. The government exercises control over land in Tanzania while playing a facilitative and a more passive role in the supply of houses. This modality has caused the deficit of housing units to be estimated at three million house units countrywide and a growing rate at two hundred thousand per annum. This study argues that there is a need for the government to involve directly in the supply of houses as the current modality of every individual constructing his own house in not viable. Uneconomical way of supplying houses alone, it also impacts housing affordability to a greater extent. This study has ignored the global semantic meaning of affordability purposely in order to conceptualise it in the context of financing housing in Tanzania, building conditions, setting rent payable as well as housing brokers. On this basis, as majority of urban residents are tenants while demand for houses exceeds supply and affordability being at critical level due to irrationalised legal framework, security of tenure is by design at stake. Such irrational legal framework is attributed to failure to abrogate colonial law while the law reforms undertaken has been influenced by both internal and external forces thereby favouring the commercial bourgeois at the expense of majority poor. The study argues that a human rights approach may be a useful tool by enhancing transformative role of the Constitution in our jurisdiction in order to strike a balance on equality principles especially at this epoch of constitutional reform process.
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Human rights, EAC treaty, Tanzania, Urban, Rights of housing
Seba, S.(2013). An investigation of the right to adequate housing in urban Tanzania in light of the EAC treaty. Master dissertation, university of Dar es Salaam. Available at (