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Slum Real Estate: The Low-Quality High-Price Puzzle in Nairobi's Slum Rental Market and its Implications for Theory and Practice

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  • Gulyani, Sumila
  • Talukdar, Debabrata

Abstract

Summary This study of 1755 households in Nairobi's slums challenges the conventional belief that slums offer low-quality low-cost shelter to a population that cannot afford better standards. In Nairobi, slums provide low-quality but high-cost shelter. Although slum residents pay millions of dollars in rents annually, and better quality units command higher rents, very little is being re-invested to upgrade quality. To resolve the challenge that the Nairobi puzzle poses for theory and practice, we develop a new analytical framework for understanding quality of living conditions. Improving conditions in Nairobi's slums requires, we argue, two simultaneous interventions: alteration of the tenure mix to enhance owner occupancy and infrastructure investment.

Suggested Citation

  • Gulyani, Sumila & Talukdar, Debabrata, 2008. "Slum Real Estate: The Low-Quality High-Price Puzzle in Nairobi's Slum Rental Market and its Implications for Theory and Practice," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 1916-1937, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:36:y:2008:i:10:p:1916-1937
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Faranak Miraftab, 1997. "Revisiting Informal-Sector Home Ownership: The Relevance of Household Composition for Housing Options of the Poor," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(2), pages 303-322, June.
    2. Sumila Gulyani & Ellen M Bassett, 2007. "Retrieving the baby from the bathwater: slum upgrading in Sub-Saharan Africa," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 25(4), pages 486-515, August.
    3. World Bank, 2003. "Kenya : A Policy Agenda to Restore Growth," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14363, The World Bank.
    4. Omar M. Razzaz, 1993. "Examining Property Rights and Investment in Informal Settlements: The Case of Jordan," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 69(4), pages 341-355.
    5. Amis, Philip, 1984. "Squatters or tenants: the commercialization of unauthorized housing in Nairobi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 87-96, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Parikh, Priti & Chaturvedi, Sankalp & George, Gerard, 2012. "Empowering change: The effects of energy provision on individual aspirations in slum communities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 477-485.
    2. Choumert, Johanna & Stage, Jesper & Uwera, Claudine, 2014. "Access to water as determinant of rental values: A housing hedonic analysis in Rwanda," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 48-54.
    3. Johanna Choumert & N. Eric Kéré & Amandine Loyal Laré-Dondarini, 2016. "A Multi-Level Housing Hedonic Analysis of Water and Sanitation Access," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(2), pages 1010-1037.
    4. Anthony Amoah & Peter G. Moffatt, 2017. "Estimating demand for reliable piped-water services in urban Ghana: An application of competing valuation approaches," University of East Anglia School of Economics Working Paper Series 2017-01, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    5. Fox, Sean, 2014. "The Political Economy of Slums: Theory and Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 191-203.
    6. Parikh, Priti & Fu, Kun & Parikh, Himanshu & McRobie, Allan & George, Gerard, 2015. "Infrastructure Provision, Gender, and Poverty in Indian Slums," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 468-486.
    7. Andrea Rigon, 2014. "Building Local Governance: Participation and Elite Capture in Slum-upgrading in Kenya," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 45(2), pages 257-283, March.
    8. Johanna CHOUMERT & Jesper STAGE & Claudine UWERA, 2014. "Access to water as a determinant of rental values: A hedonic analysis in Rwanda," Working Papers 201401, CERDI.
    9. Archambault, Caroline S. & de Laat, Joost & Zulu, Eliya Msiyaphazi, 2012. "Urban Services and Child Migration to the Slums of Nairobi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1854-1869.
    10. Eric Nazindigouba KERE & Johanna CHOUMERT & Amandine Loyal LARÉ-DONDARINI, 2014. "The impact of water and sanitation access on housing values: The case of Dapaong, Togo," Working Papers 201403, CERDI.
    11. Laura Jaitman, 2015. "Urban infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean: public policy priorities," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 24(1), pages 1-57, December.

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