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Community-led housing and urban livelihoods: measuring employment in low-income housing delivery

Smith, Thomas and Brown, Alison 2019. Community-led housing and urban livelihoods: measuring employment in low-income housing delivery. Habitat International 94 , 102061. 10.1016/j.habitatint.2019.102061
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This paper explores a significant gap in knowledge about the employment impacts of community-led, low-income housing production, and the complex intersections between rights to housing, rights to work, and international attempts to define these rights, such as the ILO's ‘decent work’ agenda. We develop a four-way classification to understanding the livelihoods impact of housing interventions and how to measure it and, using evidence from construction workers and beneficiaries of the low-income housing developments supported by CLIFF (the Community Led Infrastructure Finance Facility) in Nairobi, this paper moves towards contextually-relevant definitions of ‘a job’. We argue that existing employment multipliers used by evaluation agencies underestimate livelihood needs, and that the ILO's ‘decent work’ agenda should be contextually reviewed, particularly for informal economy workers with multiple livelihood streams, where sustainability may be more important than formalised work. We suggest that ‘rights to housing’ and ‘rights to work’ may conflict, particularly where in-situ upgrading is not feasible and developing housing in peri-urban locations is necessitated by the contextual realities of fast-growing cities.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0197-3975
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 October 2019
Date of Acceptance: 30 September 2019
Last Modified: 30 May 2020 15:56

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