In 2006 and 2007, the development of the Dar es Salaam harbour led to hundreds of families living in the slums of Kurasini being evicted and having their homes demolished. Although compensation was given to house owners, the majority of residents were tenants of private landlords and did not get any compensation. As the 10-year development plan threatened to displace around 30,000 poor people, we supported our partner, the Centre for Community Initiatives (CCI), to find alternative solutions.
After being evicted, one group of 300 families from Kurasini worked together to find land to build new houses. They found an available 30 acre plot in Chamazi and saved during two years to buy it. CCI approached the local authorities who provided legal support and valued the land. The group was finally able to buy it in early 2009 and began looking for technical and financial options for their resettlement.
The Chamazi land will include 300 units for the resettlement of the displaced families, and 200 rental units as an innovative pilot project. An architect helped the group to produce a site layout and design affordable houses, which are built using low-cost construction techniques. The site will not only include affordable housing but also income generation opportunities, a market, a bus stand and religious and recreational areas. The community formed a housing co-operative to manage the developments and the repayment of loans. In preparation for house-building, the co-operative graded the land, performed soil bearing capacity tests, and drilled a borehole to bring good quality water to the site.
The 200 rental units being built are an opportunity for CCI to pilot social housing in Tanzania, following a similar model to housing associations in the UK. Homeless International has created a joint venture with CCI and Paradigm Housing (a UK housing association) to demonstrate alternative solutions to housing the poor and preventing evictions.
The first residents have now moved into their new homes in Chamazi; Constansia and her family were the first to move in - read their story.
Homeless International is supporting the Chamazi project through a four-year grant for technical assistance.
Click here to watch our video about the Chamazi project.