Organized Self-help Housing: lessons from practice with an international perspective

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


There is an urgent need of improving the lives of 100 million slum dwellers until year 2020. The Habitat Agenda has identified self-help housing among other enabling housing strategies. This paper focuses on mapping organizations and different types of organized self-help housing (OSHH) projects since year 2000 with the aim of analyzing important lessons from practice. An international survey was implemented to selected housing experts and practitioners from developing countries; and qualitative data analysis was conducted.
Results show that dweller-control over the OSHH process contributes in achieving better quality settlements and homes whilst empowering the urban poor. This process also helps to improve community skills and local construction techniques. Asian CBOs and NGOs have implemented OSHH for slum upgrading and reconstruction after natural disasters. Organized self-help housing has been combined with other support tools such as microcredit or organized savings, production of construction materials, training and community capacity building. OSHH housing has the potential for fostering the development of social, technical and financial sustainability in human settlements in developing regions.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Architectural Engineering
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 19th International CIB World Building Congress
PublisherQueensland University of Technology
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch