1st Edition

Living on the Margins: Social Access to Shelter in Urban South Asia

By Navtej K. Purewal Copyright 2000

    This title was first published in 2000. The privatization of former social state housing through recent public-private partnerships is becoming increasingly prevalent in Third World as well as in Western countries. In most Third World countries, this shift has had profound effects upon the patterns of access of shelter. Drawing on studies of South Asian and other Third World contexts, as well as original in-depth empirical research from Amritsar, a city in North-West India, this book offers an analysis of the withdrawal of state housing provision. It develops and applies a unique model based on social status to analyze the new routes of access to housing and land by the urban poor. Its conclusions argue that these new privatization policies largely rely upon already existing informal and self-help settlements which continue to attract the poor and to be the largest housing providers in many cities, thus providing a ready-made safety net for such policies. The inter-linkages between the private state and the public market make up a highly diversified and complex picture of shelter arrangements being accessed by the poor which is reflected in the social differentiation and increasingly stratified housing market. The book argues that these partnership policies therefore have long-term implications upon social patterns of inclusion and exclusion which must be addressed.

    Contents: Introduction; Poverty and shelter in the third world; Access to shelter: issues, debates and policies; Amritsar: the region and the city; The research method; The research context; Socio-economic profile of the sample; The settlement process; Paths to housing access; Conclusion; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.


    Navtej K. Purewal

    'A number of interesting findings emerge from the study that will engage many scholars and urban development specialists. This stimulating book should be read widely, especially by those who are interested in issues relating to urbanization and development.' Contemporary South Asia