Has the Habitat for Humanity Housing Scheme achieved its goals? A Ghanaian case study

  • Franklin Obeng-OdoomEmail author
Policy and Practice


This work evaluates the Habitat for Humanity Housing Scheme in Ghana in the context of its goals. The Logical Framework is used to aid this assessment. We find that though the housing scheme has made progress in accommodating the low-income community in Agona and Kona, 80% of the houses develop cracks soon after completion. Apart from a few houses, the scheme has not improved any inadequate housing. Probably the most serious downside of the scheme is that it makes no serious effort to create economic opportunities in the community apart from housing. Little wonder that about 64% of the beneficiaries are yet to repay their loans.


Housing Economic development Low income Self-help Habitat 



The author is deeply indebted to Mr. Eddie Sarpong of Cambridge University, UK, Mr. Fredua Agyemang of Ghana Cocoa Board, Miss Ida Mensa of Lands Commission (Cape Coast, Ghana) and Mrs. Susana Aryitey of the West African Examinations Council, Ghana. Mr. Mark Owusu Yeboah of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana made very helpful comments during the infant stage of this work. All Habitat for Humanity Ghana workers who granted interviews to the author deserve acknowledgement in this work. Finally, it will be remiss not to acknowledge the comments made on the initial manuscript by two anonymous referees. Their comments were very useful.

However, I take full responsibility for any weaknesses in this work.


  1. Abram, C. (1964). Housing in the modern world. London: Feber and Feber.Google Scholar
  2. Afigya Sekyere District Assembly. (2000). Socio-Economic Survey Report (2000), Report on Housing Situations in Afigya Sekyere District, Afigya Sekyere District office, Ashanti Region.Google Scholar
  3. Allmendinger, P., & Prior, A. (2000). Introduction to planning practice. England: Wiley.Google Scholar
  4. Arias, E. G., & Boyowa, A. C. (2000). The meaning and use of housing. International perspectives, approaches and applications. Dukesway, UK: Athenaeum Press Ltd.Google Scholar
  5. Aryiteey, E., & Harrigan, J. (2000). Macroeconomics, structure and growth. In E. Aryeetey, J. Harrigan, & M. Nissanke (Eds.), Economic reforms in Ghana, the miracle and the mirage (pp. 5–31). Trenton, NJ: James Currey Ltd., Woeli Publishing Services and African World Press.Google Scholar
  6. Baccarini, D. (1999). The logical framework method for defining project success. Project Management Journal, 30(4), 25–32.Google Scholar
  7. Belli, P., et al. (2001). Economic analysis of investment operations. Washington: World Bank.Google Scholar
  8. Bratt, G. (1986). Community-Based Housing Programs: Overview, assessment, and agenda for the future. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 5(3), 164–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Byrne, P. J., & Diamond, M. (2007). Affordable housing, land tenure and urban policy: The matrix revealed. Working paper submitted to the Public Law and Legal Theory working paper series, paper no. 97641o, Georgetown University Law Center. Google Scholar
  10. Copestake, J., et al. (2001). Assessing the impact of microcredit: A Zambia case study. The Journal of Development Studies, 37(4), 81–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dale, R. (2004). Development planning: Concepts and tools for planners, managers and facilitators. Zed Books.Google Scholar
  12. D’Cruz, C., & Satterthwaite, D. (2005). Building homes, changing official approaches: The work of Urban Poor Organizations and their federations and their contributions to meeting the millennium development goals in urban areas. Poverty Reduction in Urban Areas 16, International Institute for Environment and Development.Google Scholar
  13. Duncan, S. S., & Rowe, A. (1993). Self-provided housing: The first world’s hidden housing arm. Urban Studies, 30(8), 1331–1354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Erbas, N., & Nothaft, F. E. (2002). The role of affordable mortgages in improving living standards and stimulating growth: A survey of selected MENA countries. Working paper, P/02/17, International Monetary Fund.Google Scholar
  15. Fisher, T., & Sriram, M. S. (2002). Beyond micro-credit: Putting development back into micro-finance. New Delhi: Vistaar Publication.Google Scholar
  16. Gilbert, A. (2003). Rental housing: An essential option for the poor in developing countries. Nairobi: United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT).Google Scholar
  17. Gulyani, S., & Connors, G. (2002). Urban upgrading in Africa: A summary of rapid assessment in 10 countries. Africa: World Bank.Google Scholar
  18. Iglesias, T. (2002). Managing local opposition to affordable housing: A new approach to NIMBY. Journal of Affordable Housing, 12(1), 79–121. (Fall 2002).Google Scholar
  19. IIED. (2006). The world urban forum. South Africa: Hifi News.Google Scholar
  20. Jois, G. U. (2007). ‘Affordable housing and civic participation: Two sides of the same coin. Accessed on 4-10-08.
  21. Kumar, S. (2003). Room for manouvre; tenure and the urban poor in India. Paper presented at the second Urban Research Symposium, World Bank Washington, DC, USA.Google Scholar
  22. Laws, S., Harper, C., & Marcus, R. (2003). Research for development. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  23. Leviner, S. (2003). Affordable housing and the role of the low income housing tax credit programme: A contemporary assessment. Tax Lawyer, 57(4).Google Scholar
  24. Marias, L., Rensburg, V. N., & Botes, L. (2003). An empirical comparison of self help housing and contractor-driven housing: Evidence from Thabong (Welkom) and Mangaung (Bloemfontein). Urban Forum, 14(4), 347–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mathey, K. (1992). Beyond self-help housing. London: Mansell.Google Scholar
  26. Menson, T. R. (2004). Government awards contract to state housing corporation. Daily Graphic, 8th October, 2004, p. 1.Google Scholar
  27. Mitlin, D., & Satterthwaite, D. (Eds.). (2008). Empowering Squatter Citizen: Local government, civil society and urban poverty reduction. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  28. Porio, E. (2004). The Community Mortgage Programme: An innovative social housing programme in the Philippines and its outcomes. In D. Mitlin & D. Satterthwaite (Eds.), Empowering Squatter Citizen: Local government, civil society and urban poverty reduction (pp. 54–81). London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  29. Potts, D. (2002). Project planning and analysis for development. Boulder, CO: Lynne Reinner Publishers.Google Scholar
  30. Sarkodie, A. (1993). The private sector participation in housing supply in the medieval size towns of Ghana—a case study of Berekum. Unpublished thesis to the Department of Planning, KNUST.Google Scholar
  31. Schmidt, S., & Budinich, V. (2006). Housing solutions serving low-income populations a framework for action. The Ashoka Full Economic Citizenship Initiative, Vol. 3.Google Scholar
  32. Sulemana, M. (1993). The role of Non Governmental Organisation in the development of rural communities—a case study of Saboba Cherponi. Unpublished thesis to the Department of Planning, KNUST.Google Scholar
  33. Tibaijuka, A. (2007). Statement by Dr. Anna K. Tibaijuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-HABITAT made at the first plenary session of the 21st Session of the Governing Council for UN-HABITAT. Google Scholar
  34. Todaro, M., & Smith, S. (2006). Economic development. England: Pearson Addison Wesley.Google Scholar
  35. Trimbath, S., & Montoya, J. (2002). Housing affordability in three dimensions: price, income and interest rate. Policy Brief, Number 31.Google Scholar
  36. UN-Habitat. (2005). Financing urban shelter: Global report on human settlements. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  37. UN-Habitat (2003). Chapter 9: Towards inclusive cities: Reconsidering development priorities. In The challenge of slums: Global report on human settlements 2003, Earthscan, London.Google Scholar
  38. Warnock, V., & Warnock, F. (2007). Markets and housing finance. Paper (first draft) was written and presented at the Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political EconomyUniversity of SydneyNSWAustralia

Personalised recommendations