Helping the Poor through the Community-based Housing Development Approach: How Far does it Work? Lessons Learnt from Two Case Studies in Semarang City, Indonesia

By Asnawi Manaf.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In recent decades, the community based approach or public participation has been widely accepted in development activities particularly in developing country including in Indonesia. In Indonesia, there is a Program called Community Based Housing Development, which deals with the issues related to the housing for the poor. This approach is strongly “campaigned” both by government and or non government institutions until today.
This paper examines the implementation of the program and outlines issues, challenges and constraints faced in the implementation process. The qualitative research method (‘participatory action research’) has been employed, where the researcher was also partly involved in the implementation process as an observer. This research compared two cases in Semarang: the first is the CBHD Project in the Pudak Payung village representing the project conducted by the “poor people” and the second one is the CBHD Project in Bangetayu village conducted by the “low income people”.
The researcher found that such program is less compatible or not economically feasible enough for “the poor”, so that the program is not sustainable. However, the program has potential to help “the low income people”, who are actually able to pay but politically discriminated. Researcher conclude that issue of the unsustainability of the housing program in Indonesia does not lie in the so called “market failure” only, but also in the unfair accessibility for the majority of low income people to the key resources in housing development or “state failure”.

Keywords: Public Participation, Community Based Housing Development, Participatory Action Research, Poor and Low-income People

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp.337-350. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.931MB).

Dr. Asnawi Manaf

Researcher, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Diponegoro, Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia

I am currently a researcher in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Diponegoro University, Semarang, Indonesia. I have more than 3 years of practical experience in the Community Based Housing Development (CBHD) and 1.5 years in Community Driven Development (CDD) in post-disaster rehabilitation and reconstruction activities. In 1999–2000 I was Team Leader in the GTZ supported Community Based Housing Development in Semarang. Through the CBHD approach we have constructed 130 Housing Units for low-income people. After finishing this project successfully, I got a scholarship from Germany (DAAD) for my PhD study in Kassel University Germany. In 2006–2007 I was District Manager in UN-HABITAT ANSSP (Aceh Nias Support Settlement Program) in Pidie District NAD. Despite very complex and dynamic problems in field, we have successfully constructed 1,200 houses through the Community Driven Development approach. In January 2007 I was requested by UN-HABITAT ANSSP to write the actual field experiences as lessons learnt to improve the manual book for “People’s Process in Post Disaster Reconstruction Activities” and to give training for new staff members in the UN-HABITAT ANSSP Project in Aceh and Nias. I have written and published the technical and practical knowledge and experiences in several academic journals and presented them both in international and national seminars. I have conducted research in the field of housing and human settlement. My latest research was on the Initial Poverty and Social Assessment (IPSA) for ADB funded Housing Project, (NSSP) UN-HABITAT, in Nias, North Sumatra. To speed up the research process, I have developed well-tested Questionaires, which are well connected with the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). From the UN-HABITAT ANSSP I got many experiences particularly in conducting the monitoring and physical supervision in the community-organized reconstruction activities. In June 2008 I conducted a field study in the Slums Upgrading Activities in Ketelan village, Banjarsari, Surakarta and to Co. BILD activities in Jogjakarta (Yayasan Griya Mandiri). From these activities I gained some contacts within the local Institution (Bappeda, DPU, NGOs and community task force/Pokja).

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