Housing and Economic Development Debate Revisited: Economic Significance of Housing in Developing Countries
Journal of Housing and the Built Environment
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Should housing improvement be part of economic development strategies? Must housing improvement wait until high-economic growth is attained? How much priority should be given to housing in view of the limited resources in less-developed countries? What are housing benefits in economic development vis-à-vis other economic investments? These questions have generated heated debates, both in the literature on development problems and in planning and practice in the 1950s and 1960s. This paper draws on the accumulated body of knowledge resulting from past experiences in research and policy to revisit the earlier debates, survey the main lines of argument and reassess the economic potential of housing. It then attempts to generate broad policy considerations. The main contention of this paper is that in light of past and present evidence, the housing sector needs to be given serious consideration in economic growth strategies.