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University of Cincinnati (2019)

Assessment of Affordability and Desirability of Housing Options in the Context of Cities without Slums Program in Morocco

Belkadi, Meryem

Titre : Assessment of Affordability and Desirability of Housing Options in the Context of Cities without Slums Program in Morocco

Auteur : Belkadi, Meryem

Université de soutenance : University of Cincinnati,

Grade : MCP 2019

Résumé
The Cities without Slums Program (CWSP) is the most notorious slum eradication program in the history of Morocco. It was launched in 2004 under royal instructions, after the terrorist attacks that shook the economic capital of the country, Casablanca, in 2003. The slum clearance program has achieved a relocation rate exceeding 66%, an equivalent of 277,583 households living in better conditions. This high rate of slums’ reduction led in 2010 the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development in Morocco and Al Omrane Holding (both key actors in CWSP) to win the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour award. Nevertheless, slums are still resisting in major cities such as Casablanca, Rabat and Marrakech, due to exogenous systemic issues like the informal sector, but also due to shortcomings inherent to the housing delivery system in the context of the clearance program, that impact the level of desirability of affordable housing units. Among these shortcomings is the inadaptability of financial tools aimed at households living in slums to access home ownership, and specifically the three first deciles of the urban population. This research explores primarily the existing literature related to slums in the Global South to situate the problematic in a theoretical framework. The literature review explores key concepts correlated to the right to the city, urban poverty, self-help construction, as well as financial tools and subsidies, to cite only those. Afterwards, the emphasis is placed on the housing delivery system in Morocco by analyzing housing options delivered in the context of CWSP (i.e., sites-and-services and capped-price apartment units), while highlighting financial, social and technical aspects associated with each option. Then, the financial tools implemented for slum households are introduced, explicating its constraints and limitations. The focus is placed next on the first three deciles of the slum population, using a quantitative analysis, to explore the suitability of these financial tools in regard to the overall cost of the housing options available. A complementary qualitative approach is performed based on a reduced sample of households living in Douar Kouara in Rabat. Besides, as relocation/reconstruction projects show dysfunction on spatial, financial, and social levels, the analysis is concluded by the execution of a desirability index (D) formula. This index can be used in the assessment of the desirability of affordable housing units in the context of CWSP, as a way to foresee and address shortcomings of relocation/reconstruction projects.

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