Room-based housing cooperatives-an Alternative Approach to Low-income Housing Cooperatives
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A recent survey report on Housing Cooperatives in Kenya(l) points to the lack of financing as a major constraint in the cooperatives' potential and performance: Pooling the resources of members through the purchase of shares in the society and through regular contributions, cannot be sufficient to build houses for all members. The societies need· an extra source of funds in the form of construction loans. At present no loans are available to housing cooperatives which build complete orpartial houses and which need a repayment of at least 15 years. Some Societies consider it as a solution to increase their capital by increasing their membership The Societies may, however, create another problem for themselves if the purchased land cannot accommodate all members of the society. The report concludes that the few successful housing cooperatives have taken too long to build the planned number of houses, and questions the role of housing cooperatives in achieving the Government's aims. In the final chapter certain alternatives to housing cooperatives are mentioned, such as 1) smaller self help groups or 2) larger centralised organisations which can render technical and organisational assistance to any cooperative efforts among the target population. As examples of the latter are, among others, mentioned the Housing Project Unit in Lusaka and the Dandora Development Project in Nairobi.
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