Housing and Land development
The spiraling rate of urbanization in Lesotho has been spurred on by the growth of manufacturing industries, which have drawn many work seekers to town and the rapidly expanding peri-urban areas, with Maseru having absorbed the largest share of this population influx. The supply of utilities to these areas is of concern, and the present ad hoc settlement pattern underline the need for a coordinated approach to urban development.
The Lesotho Housing and Development Corporation (LHLDC) is tasked with meeting the shelter needs of people in Lesotho by providing a variety of housing sites, home ownership and rental accommodation options to cater for a wide spectrum of income levels in the most effective manner available.The operational activities performed by the LHLDC include the development, upgrading and servicing of land and housing, as well as the provision of rental accommodation.An assessment of the housing sector undertaken a few years ago revealed that most housing is provided informally, constructed by the owner, and financed by the individual savings.
As such, formal sector institutions must improve their response to the needs of the informal sector and lower income households. This will involve further development of the real estate market as well as encouraging private sector developers.With access to land a substantial stumbling block, government is striving to speed up land transactions, promoting partnership schemes and the provision of land. A land-banking fund has been established, and individual access to housing development loans is being improved.
Programmes being implemented under the Poverty Reduction Strategy to ensure planned settlement of peri-urban areas and affordable access to housing include:Improving the planning of settlements through reviewing, updating and implementing the National Settlement and Shelter policies in line with the legislation described above, establishing a National Housing Authority, and facilitating access to land for private sector housing development. Regional, town and village plans that are community-based must be established and should include proper public access to transport and other amenities.