Addis Ababa : Inclusive financial interventions in the housing sector can stimulate emerging economy countries while also improving the well-being of families through healthier housing conditions, Habitat for Humanity revealed in a new report.
Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit housing organization that works to empower people in the world’s poorest communities to overcome the chronic lack of decent housing, made the remark in a report it issued on Monday in connection with World Habitat Day.
According to the report, emerging economies struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic may be significantly underestimating how much their housing sectors contribute to gross domestic product (GDP) and, as a result, missing opportunities for economic and social revival.
“Existing datasets in low- and middle-income countries are often incomplete or inaccurate, and efforts to measure housing’s contribution to the economy have largely focused on developed countries”, the report stated.
However, including the often-overlooked housing services and informal housing components reveals that housing accounts for up to 16.1 percent of GDP on average across 11 emerging economy countries analyzed in the report.
That places housing on par with sectors such as manufacturing that often draw far more attention in the economic recovery plans, it indicated.
In this regard, inclusive financial interventions in the housing sector, particularly through construction or rental assistance, can stimulate economies in these countries while also improving the wellbeing of families through healthier housing conditions, the report added.
“Investments in healthy, secure housing have greater-than-expected benefits, creating jobs, generating incomes and, critically, helping alleviate the overcrowding that makes communities more vulnerable to threats such as COVID-19,” the report further pointed out.
The authors recommended stimulus policies that, in cooperation with the international and private sectors, focus on middle- and lower- income families while also including formal and informal markets, rental and owner-occupied housing, and community organizations.
They have also emphasized short-term actions to improve land-tenure security and equitable access to land for housing; open access to finance for developers, households and landlords; provide equitable subsidies to households; and offer incentives to lenders and builders.
Source: Ethiopia News agency