Zambia’s implementation of the housing empowerment programs in the era of neo-liberal policies: Gains and losses, A case of Mufulira
This study examines the effects of the implementation of Zambia’s home ownership scheme in an attempt to help low-income men and women realize their housing rights. A qualitative methodology was employed to gain a deep understanding of the subject matter. The theoretical perspective used in this study is based on alternative development and Gender and Development (GAD). The study found that houses were sold to: fulfil economic policies of privatization and Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs); detach housing provision from employment; and empower the low income to improve their poverty situation. To qualify for the purchase of houses, a legal tenant in possession of tenancy card needed to be a Zambian citizen. The cost of houses was considerably low, and many people bought their houses, but some people were evicted as they could not afford due to economic hardships and malpractices in the process. Some of those who bought houses face a challenge in maintaining them and paying land rates. Some people were denied their rights hence became disempowered as they could not afford the purchase of their houses. Financial instability put most poor people at the risk of losing their houses as they were already defaulting in rates and fail to maintain them. There were no measures put in place to help the poor realize their housing rights by protecting them from evictions and ensure that they acquire decent housing.