Public Housing and Livelihood, a comparative study in Greater Cairo.
Sociale huisvesting en levensonderhoud, een vergelijkende studie in Groot Caïro.
Abouelmagd, Doaa Ahmed Shehata; R0290944
The housing of low-income groups in Greater Cairo has always been difficult. The general shortage in housing supply is contrasting with the low occupancy rate of newly constructed public housing units. In contrast, despite their bad living conditions, informal settlements have a high occupancy rate. In order to analyze the reasons behind this contradiction, the study compares four neighbourhoods ranging from the formal Mubarak Youth Housing Project in Zaied, the semi-informal public housing of Ain El-Sira to the informal settlement of Manshiet Nasser and including the rehabilitation project of new Zeinhum.For a further understanding of the meaning of the house and habitat, a political economy approach is adapted. The house as a place of everyday life and a method to access livelihood resources is illustrated. In a first attempt, the study related housing policies to the political context of the Egyptian government. Then, an analytical framework is developed to get an insight in the integration mechanisms from the point of view of citizens and inhabitants. The analytical framework integrates the livelihood capitals (Human Capital, Physical Capital, Social Capital and Political Capital) and the modes of economic integration from Karl Polanyi (redistribution, market exchange and reciprocity). While, the livelihood framework test accessibility to livelihood resources through market relationship from individuals level, the three modes of economic integration are used to add the space and social reproductions dimensions through reciprocity and redistribution relationships. One hundred twenty seven interviewees were interviewed in order to analyze the livelihood resources in the four housing case studies. The results of the interviews were grouped and analyzed using the principle correspondence analysis. A final comparison shows the livelihood resources in terms of the three spheres of economic integration. The findings indicate a preference among low-income groups for informal settlements because of three main reasons: the advantages of geographical location, the nature of social networks and the strength of private redistribution systems, thus enabling an easier access to means of existence. The results and recommendations are further discussed.