The peoples housing process ... getting the quality in the quantity?

Caroline Newton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper introduces the PHP (People's Housing Process) approach to housing provision in South-Africa as a noteworthy third way that allows housing provision for the urban poor. In this contribution we will illustrate how, in an assisted approach of self-help housing, the government can play an important role in safeguarding the production of homes rather than merely providing dwellings. In doing so taking into account the more intangible and symbolic meaning of the house and home, which we argue is a central factor for a sustainable housing strategy. This assisted self-help housing scheme was approved in 1998 and was inspired by the work of the homeless people's federation and saving and housing schemes from around the globe. The further development of the scheme has been a challenging process but we argue that the PHP programme deserves more attention as a housing provision mechanism. Additionally, one of the strengths of the PHP approach is its applicability in a wider area of project types, from township upgrading to hostel redevelopment projects, and illustrated in this contribution by introducing the hostel redevelopment poject Ilinge Labahlali in Cape Town. In what follows, the PHP approach is introduced, and the increasing interest of the government illustrated. Then, using two case studies, the importance of the assistance of the government and NGOs is elaborated upon. In conclusion the challenges that still need to be met are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-651
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Housing and the Built Environment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Assisted self-help housing
  • Housing policy
  • Housing process
  • Meaning of housing
  • South-Africa


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