Household shelter strategies in comparative perspective: Evidence from low-income groups in Bamako and La Paz

Paul Van Lindert*, August Van Westen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This article focuses on the shelter strategies of low-income households in Bamako, Mali and La Paz, Bolivia. The structure of the land and housing markets conditions the range of shelter alternatives available to the poor in both cities. Land and housing markets in La Paz show more dynamism than Bamako's, where housing turnover is rare, and filtering processes are slow. Bamako's land and housing markets are characterized by a poor record of shelter improvement; lower rates of mobility to new housing opportunities on the periphery; and more constrained access to home ownership than in La Paz. It is argued that shelter strategies are not determined by structural constraints only. Within the scope of available options, the poor themselves decide what particular alternative will be employed to improve shelter conditions of the household. City-born residents prove to be more fortunate than migrants in securing appropriate shelter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1007-1028
Number of pages22
JournalWorld Development
Volume19
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1991

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