Shelter issues and solutions in Hawassa
As Hawassa’s population expands rapidly to accommodate thousands of new workers in the Industrial Park - a vast Special Economic Zone run by the Ethiopian Industrial Parks Development Corporation - demand for shelter is acute. With no obvious solution in hand, the city’s residents and authorities are - by default - experimenting with different shelter models. These range from cooperative housing associations and Public Private Partnerships at the ‘formal’ end of the scale, to incentivising construction of additional bedrooms (microfinance-funded incremental housing units) and rapidly expanding informal settlements at the other. Meanwhile, as a new political settlement is forged nationally and locally, there are real opportunities to make shelter a priority issue. In this dynamic context, housing and urban development policy - including equitable compensation for re-locations, construction of affordable housing, and citizenstate dialogue - could constitute a major contribution to a new social policy.