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National Housing Policy and Development Programme - Sierra Leone
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In Sierra Leone, the urban population is growing at a faster rate than the rural population. The legislative framework for housing and regional/urban planning is weak and there are no standardized building regulations.
Location: Freetown
Branch:
- Regional Office for Arab States
Partner: Ministry of Works, Housing and Technical Maintenance, Ministry of Lands and Country Planning Cities and Urban Councils, UN-HABITAT
Donor: UNDP
Theme:
- Land and Housing
- Housing Policy
Cost: US$149,000

Background and Objectives:

In Sierra Leone, the urban population is growing at a faster rate than the rural population. The legislative framework for housing and regional/urban planning is weak and there are no standardized building regulations. The Freetown Improvement Act Cap 66 of 1960 provides for the control of building construction in Freetown. In terms of regional/urban/local planning, the legal provision is the Town and Country Planning Act, Cap 81 of 1946.

This legislative framework is outdated, considering the socio-economic changes that have occurred since the enactment of these acts. The Town and Country Planning Act is now obsolete since its provisions cannot be used to prepare the regional/urban development plans that are required to address the impact of the civil conflict on shelter and human settlements. 

The project objectives were to:

  • Revise and update the National Housing Policy;
  • Prepare an outline of 5 – 10 year National Housing Programme; and
  • Prepare a Report on the Slum and Informal Settlements in Freetown.

Activities:
To implement this project, technical support was provided to the Government of Sierra Leone in the following areas:

(1) National Housing Policy

  • Review of existing data and of the previous National Housing Policy;
  • Identify and assess problems;
  • Identify goals and alternative policies;
  • Prepare a draft housing policy;
  • Participate in regional and national consultative meetings;
  • Prepare the final draft of the national housing policy.

(2) Outline of a 5 -10 year Housing Programme

  • Identify standards and unit costs;
  • Conduct affordability study;
  • Quantify housing needs and demands;
  • Analyse micro considerations for supply;
  • Prepare the outline of 5 – 10 year national housing programme;
  • Participate in the regional and national consultative meetings;
  • Prepare the final the 5 – 10 year National Housing Programme.

(3) Slum and Informal Settlements Upgrading/Improvement

  • Identify and map all slum and informal settlements in Freetown;
  • Carry out extensive review of the literature on the housing situation in Freetown;
  • Carry out an analysis of the population and household characteristics of slum and informal settlements;
  • Analyse the housing, environmental sanitation and socio-economic situation in a selected slum/informal settlement in Freetown;
  • Use the information available on the selected slum/informal settlement to prepare a report of that settlement and produce a concept paper on “The Improvement of Slum and Informal Settlements in Freetown.”

Results:
The project was completed in June 2006. It delivered the following outputs:

  • A revised and updated national housing policy;
  • An outline of a National Housing Programme;
  • A Report on “Slums and Informal Settlements in Freetown” and a Concept Paper on “The Improvement of Slum and Informal Settlements in Freetown.”
 
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